Jaguar was on the verge of a truly extraordinary resurrection. First, they came out with the fantastic 4-cylinder F-Type. Then came the wild Project 8, their fastest ever road going car. They set the stage perfectly for a production version of their C-X75 concept. But no, instead they announced this morning that they are instead giving us the E-Pace. A shrunken SUV targeted at millennials, essentially a rolling disaster. And how did they announce it? Oh, you know, by doing a record-breaking barrel roll. See:
Normally I would be elated. That barrel roll stunt was massive, which should make me smile. But You could jump a football field filled with school buses in a Prius and it still wouldn’t make me like the damn thing. Because of what the E-Pace is, it comes off as a needy stunt to grab the attention of those who don’t really care. And that’s because it’s a car marketed at people that don’t really care about cars.
The other reason this makes me a little mad is the fact that the E-Pace actually looks pretty damn good. I mean it looks like someone took an air pump to the F-Type, blowing it up like a balloon. But at its best the E-Pace only comes with AWD and 296hp and a 9 speed automatic. A modern car for the uninspired enthusiast. Not what we need from Jaguar right now. Not after the Project 8 gave us a true glimpse at what they are capable of. What we really need now is the C-X75, the supercar that never was.
The C-X75 was a concept built by Jaguar back in 2010. It was set to be the successor to the famous XJ220. And boy was it fitting. It was absolutely groundbreaking in 2010, featuring a system of electric motors and a hybrid system that was the very first of its kind. Jaguar claimed extraordinary numbers for the C-X75, ones that would still have it in contention with the fastest cars in the world. Unfortunately, the world economy would force Jaguar to close the door on the C-X75 saying, “it seems the wrong time to launch an £800,000 to £1 million supercar.” Fair enough. But now is the time for a rebirth of the wild C-X75. With Aston Martin making the Valkyrie and Mercedes-AMG designing the Project One, it’s time for Jaguar to get in the game and show them both how it’s done.
The C-X75 was set to be built by the Williams Formula 1 team. Makes you wonder if that’s where Aston Martin got the idea from. The body was set to be constructed from all Carbon fiber. While the original design was set to have 4 electric motors, one at each wheel, the C-X75 that made it closest to production utilized only two electric motors, one on each axle. The 2010 concept first promoted a type of turbine that would generate power for the electric motors. While that sounds interesting in theory, it was well beyond the realm of possibility. Instead a 1.6-liter inline 4 was used in its place, featuring both turbocharging and supercharging. At 10,000RPM this little treat produced a phenomenal 502hp. Combine that with the 390hp from the electric motors and you are looking at a 892bhp hypercar.
Jaguar claimed the C-X75 could sprint to 0-60 around 3 seconds with a top speed well over 200mph. But more than that the C-X75 was an absolute piece of art. The XJ220 is one of the most iconic supercars from the 90’s, making it a hard act to follow. Yet Jaguar did so in a combination of power and looks that is hard to beat. The C-X75 was so well done that even after production was canceled Hollywood still wanted to use it for their upcoming Bond film, Spectre. The C-X75’s built for the movie were stylistically the same, but instead built on a custom steel chassis with a supercharged V8 instead of all the high-tech hardware used on the real C-X75. The Aston Martin may have prevailed in the movie, but I’m certain the C-X75 would win in real life. Unfortunate really, I guess we’ll just have to settle for the E-Pace instead. Cue the uncontrollable sobbing.
The James Bond version:
The actual Prototype: