Just last week, Jaguar turned 75, celebrating the occasion with a tour of their most historic models.
That was then; this is now. Today the company unveiled perhaps its most radically futuristic design ever, the C-X75 Concept, at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.
For more photos of the stunning 2010 Jaguar C-X75 Concept, see our complete photo gallery.
Not only is the low, sleek supercar a striking design from a company known for its sexy, elegant automobiles, its powertrain is utterly different from any Jaguar that has come before--and virtually any vehicle even envisioned.
The C-X75 coupe is a two-seat, high-performance sports car with a range-extended electric powertrain that uses a pair of microturbines to generate power and even drive the car directly through its four electric motors.
Banish any thoughts of dull electric cars, please: The C-X75 is projected to have a top speed over 200 miles per hour and acceleration from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.4 seconds, and 0 to 100 mph in a mere 5.5 seconds.That's seriously fast.
Not to mention that it offers almost 70 miles of all-electric range around town and in zero-emissions city centers. In other words, it's a supercar concept with a green conscience.
The C-X75 was designed around its innovative powertrain, with airflow into the gas turbines forming a major part of the air management over its shape. A movable airfoil and vents that can change the direction of the turbine exhaust gases, as well as an active grille and brake cooling vents, allow aggressive control of the car's aerodynamics.
It's shorter, narrower, and lighter than today's supercars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and other makers, despite offering equal or better performance. Its aluminum frame, in fact, which contains 50 percent recycled metal, gives it the entire car a total weight of only 2,970 pounds.
The turbines are visible through the rear window, reminiscent of the Jaguar XJ-13 concept from the 1960s, and their airflow intakes form a major element of the top surface. The doors are forward hinged, and--typical of show cars--door mirrors are replaced by inside screens showing images from the rear-facing cameras.
The rear of the car, complete with LED taillights, echoes the trailing edge of an airplane wing.
Inside, the seats are anchored to the bulkhead that forms the front of the turbines' airbox, with a mix of traditional Jaguar leather, neoprene, and highly polished aluminum evoking spiral and turbine motifs.
With the turbines at the rear, the 19.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack sits ahead of the passengers, between the front wheels. While the C-X75 uses four 145-kilowatt electric drive motors, they're not mounted in the wheels themselves, but inboard. Each is separately controlled, allowing for full torque vectoring for maximum traction.
At low speeds, the C-X75 operates on electricity from the battery for 65 miles or more. At higher speeds or when the battery is depleted, the 70-kilowatt gas turbines (spinning at up to 80,000 rpm) switch on to generate electricity that quick recharges the battery.
At its highest speed, in "Track" mode, the turbines can also directly spin the drive motors for speeds of up to 205 mph.
The vented disc brakes are the same ones used on the Jaguar XF-R that logged 226 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats last year, along with regenerative braking to feed power back to the battery pack. The polished alloy wheels are 21 inches in front, 22 inches at the rear.