The Hypercar They Should Have Sold…
Rare Beef

Prototypes: the most interesting type of car, yet the kind we see the least of – the test studies that manufacturers create from nothing and agonize over whether to produce. Used to push the limits of engineering and design and create new technology that will waterfall down to our everyday drives. But for the most part they remain hidden from sight; the way they feel and perform reserved for a lucky few.

Today, however, the experience is ours…

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Inside the secure test track at Gaydon in central England, I feel I’m behind the biggest secret door in the world – the future before my eyes. Maybe it’s because Jaguar very nearly put the C-X75 in to production that we even stood a chance of getting this close.

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This is the latest in a long line of ground breaking designs from Jaguar. The British carmaker – always known to push the limits of design – created something extra special here indeed.

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Even though we know now the C-X75 will never be released for sale to the public, I can assure you it got close. Really close. A potential purchase price of £750,000 was floated and Jaguar said they’d produce a limited run of 250.

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For whatever reason it was pulled, so to get this kind of access is very rare. Jaguar has two C-X75s for me to snap away at, but the bare-bones facts are the same for all five prototypes built. The same can’t be said of the original concept car shown at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, though, as that car is even more special.

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When Jaguar first pulled the covers off the C-X75 the world was told it would be powered by four electric motors – one for each wheel. These would produce a total equivalent of around 780hp and their batteries would be recharged by two diesel-fed gas turbines. Sounds pretty radical, huh?

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But what the still-born production vehicle actually ended up with is a little different. Sure, the 1.6-litre engine may sound commonplace on paper – but let me assure you, it is far from boring.

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The bespoke 1,600cc produces 500hp. There’s a supercharger that provides puff up to 5,500rpm and then  a turbocharger takes over and pushes the engine to a dizzying 10,200rpm… Yes, 10,200rpm!

We Want More
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That’s still wasn’t enough though – this is a hypercar prototype after all. In a world of hybrids and batteries we now need more, which is why you’ll find two electric motors in the mix, each producing 300ft/lb of torque. Gulp.

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But this is exactly what a ‘hyprototype’ (yes, I just made a word up) should be. It should remind us that the future is not all drones and rails, self-driving cars and speed limits.

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The fact that Jaguar didn’t go for four electric motors and gas turbines just means that they’re probably going to use it elsewhere in the future, after more R&D. Because the development engineers of this world are already beta-testing the tech of tomorrow, of course.

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I live quite close to the test track and Gaydon facility where Jaguar Land Rover are based, and it’s not uncommon to see black and white camouflaged mules running around the local roads. What lies beneath them, I’d love to know…

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I guess what really pains me here is that if you look at the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918, the C-X75 should be sat in group tests with them.

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Personally, I think the C-X75 is the best looking of the three. Where the P1 is all alien forms and molten lines, the 918 is suitably Porsche – and by that I mean it is purposeful and aggressive, although it may not break any new visual ground for the manufacturer.

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This Jaguar is lithe and slippery, yet standing next to it you don’t feel intimidated. That back end is all E-Type, XJ13 and F-Type – but it manages to feel new at the same time.

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But forget about all that aesthetic stuff. As a development car, this C-X75 is all about the business – so how does it drive?

My Turn?
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Given we’re at a test track, it would have been rude to not experience first-hand what Jaguar’s C-X75 is all about. A drive is totally out of the question, but the passenger seat is a nice consolation prize.

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The scissor doors are an unexpected piece of drama from Jaguar. In fact, I almost expect to read a disclaimer that apologizes for the imposition of people staring at you when they open. But this isn’t a production car, so there’s no need for that. What it does do is slow me down as I take in the lovely details.

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Inside, much of the instrumentation and material choices have been lifted from the highest end of the Jaguar catalogue. And why not – they make some killer cars these days, with tech to rival the best in the world. Have you seen inside a new Range Rover?

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With Land Rover as part of the same company, experience has been shared, so this isn’t the harsh environment that you might expect.

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I know electric cars start discussions, so I’m going to wade straight in and say I like them. As we rolled away in electric mode there was no shake, shouting or frenetic clutch judder – just pure motion and speed in the purest sense. This is where an electric car wins for me.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love the raw feeling of an engine doing its thing, but I swear if you clear your mind of all the distractions and drama that’s usually associated with a fast car, then you become aware of your heartbeat. If you’ve ever tried paragliding you’ll know what I mean. Your mind clears and the full effect of fast acceleration can be felt. There is an electronic noise that’s fed through the monocoque which compliments this moment perfectly, although it’s not overwhelming as an engine can be.

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Back outside again with my head dropped over my camera’s LCD screen looking at the pictures I’ve just taken, the C-X75 pulls up alongside me. I swear I utter the words ‘the future just arrived’. There’s a low electronic growl that swells and shrinks in capacity as it slows to a halt. It makes me smile – this is what the future inside my head sounds like. Part computer game, part robot than can think for itself. It makes the combustion engine sound prehistoric.

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My time with the C-X75 is painfully short, yet teasingly close to getting the full experience. I guess it’s how somebody who would actually be capable of buying such an incredible car might feel.

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But then again, this technology does exist. I felt it, heard it and touched it – and one day we’ll all be able to do the same. And if Jaguar are showing the world this now, what else have they got up their sleeve? So maybe the C-X75 is better off never being sold. It will never grow old or unloved. It will never be adandoned in an underground car park. Instead, it will remind us that a lot more is possible than we can understand right now… And I like that.

Bryn Musselwhite
Instagram: Speedhunterbryn

Cutting Room Floor
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10000rpm sound delicious. Although I can't help feeling that the article is written as if this car were almost the future that didn't quite make it yet. There are 4 manufacturers that will sell you this technology now. The BMW i8 is about as close to this concept as you could get and it's already on sale. Jaguar always seems to one step behind yet they had the chance to be on a par and didn't do it. Surely it was worth the punt for Tata.


that for the system on the brakes?


What is the setup on the background car (photo 4 chapter 2)?

Gianluca FairladyZ

We need more cars like these... more diversity = more competition = more fun!


Can't believe they never made this. So did they say why it was pulled and you just can't share or what? I'm really struggling to understand why this wasn't made. It's beautiful (that shot of the doors, it revs to infinity, it has to drive great, it's exclusive, it's plenty fast, so why not make it? 

What I also want to know is what happens to the other 248 they made? Do they just sit in a big warehouse somewhere collecting dust?


@Chris They only made five, the production run if approved was going to be 250 in total. It was canned due to the world economy being weak and with the P1 and 918, plus Ferrari offering the fear was there wouldn't be enough customers to go round. Jaguar Land Rover have also got a lot of new models coming out and massive expansion plans, so the money was better spent there.


Lachys114 It's to mount a camera on, there was some filming taking place when I was there.


@itsbombaymane Yup, temp sensor I seem to recall.


@nic325 I know what you mean, but it just pains me that Jaguar didn't make it! See my answer further up as to why they didn't.


Speedhunters_Bryn Reminds me of the fate of the XJ220. Awesome car released just as the market for hypercars crashes.


such a shame we'll never see this produced! But I love that jaguar are proving they can still do 'fun' and showing they're able to produce more than just classy comfort. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what the future holds! Would love to see them produce a hypercar that can run alongside the best! Even if it isn't this one.


‘hyprototype’ ... ::golf clap::.


OllieGuy They are going from strength to strength, so I suspect we may see something like this in the future.


This would have been the best of the "918, LaFerrari, P1" group.


Ground clearence is a bit too high, don't you think ?


the powertrain specs alone are so drool-worthy.  excuse me while i pick up my jaw from the ground too.


Benjamin Meyer I know, I was very proud of that one ;b


RacingPast I'd like to see that test! It's still possible :)


KennedyCao Everything looks better lower with bigger wheels... ;)


Speedhunters_Bryn nah, the wheels are already perfect :"> Let's just hope that it won't go up in flame. Being on fire is like a qualification for super/hypercars nowadays :"<


Speedhunters_Bryn Yes! That result/conclusion would most likely read; "Unfortunately you cannot own the best hyper-car in the world right now."


When I first saw a black P1, I thought that was the most beautiful car that I have ever seen. I think this beats it.
I was a huge fan of the xj220 when I was a kid. I'm so sad Jaguar didn't put this into production. It would have been a nice second chapter to their supercar history and it would've been mentioned right next to the Porsche and the Mcclaren.


Short of: "Had we built it we would have gone bankrupt and gone into relegation" I don't know why it wasn't manufactured and sold. Too bad really. Let's hope that 1.6 liter makes into something else that's fun.


LeMans. NOW! Please.


It really can rival the trio. 10200 is amazing. Overall, I don't think it looks as good as the Porsche, but the rear end is beautiful. Anyway, is Williams involved in this? I saw their logo at the wing mount:


I might see this when I go to Jaguar Land rover for my engineering trip in a few weeks


kayjaypug205 That's probably the scenario that was floating around in their heads too. They would have been slightly scared of repeating history I'd imagine.


This is a proper shame, it soo totally should have been made considering the success the F-Type is having!


any full shots of the silver mule?


I was thoroughly glued to this article. The first 1/24 model car I ever made was an XJ220. I've always like Jag.
such a shame, great work !!


This makes me want to walk up to Jaguar and smack all of them hard in the face for not putting that into production, however limited it may be. I mean, it's just glorious. Frickin' glorious.


THis car makes me wish Gran Turismo asked Jaguar to make a Vision GT.


Wow good eye on spotting that! So dissapointed that they never built it to sell, but at least we have the prototypes, right? And yes, Williams F1 was/is a partner.


Speedhunters_Bryn I see, interesting. Too bad it never went to production. I wonder who gets to drive this stuff around and how do I get that job!?


gila men keren bgt ini, gua suka bgt artikulasinya, tp sayang gua gapunya duit buat belinya


gua orang malaysia men




I'am so sorry about the three previous comments under the name "Ilham Paramartha" it's just some retard using someone else's name. Ilham Paramartha


I'am so sorry about the three previous comments under the name "Ilham Paramartha" it's just some retard using someone else's name. Ilham Paramartha


1.6, super car performance. is shocked. turbo, supercharged, and then the hybrid punch... wow just wow.


yanes33537E  yes they are. watch this


BowlerGuile  that and a whole list of other cars missing from the game...


Brilliant writing as usual, Bryn. Really enjoyed reading this one.


Isn't Land Rover Jaguar technically an Indian company as it is owned by TATA?, lol


ModGuy Yup, parent company is TATA, who are Indian.


KeithCharvonia Thanks man! Now get back to that build ;)


SS6K Haha! Not sure that tactic would work, unless you hit them with a massive wedge of cash too!


JakWhite No sorry, I only had a very short time with the grey car whilst some other guys were filming.


LukeEVOVIII You can always ask, it's the perfect example of what you should be looking at.


In 2006 l theorized the potential for gas turbine engines to be used in a hybrid setup such as this. Friends told me I was an idiot. Good to see I wasn't completely stupid.


well if they are still doing the R&D side of things cant wait to see what they will produce in a few years time!


d_rav yanes33537E it kinda sounds like a supercharged civic haha


Honda almost built the HSV-10GT... the automotive world is a strange and sad place.


Speedhunters_Bryn What is the (feeler gauge? Temp sensor?) shown at the top of the brake disc in the bonus images please.


Speedhunters_Bryn What is the (feeler gauge? Temp sensor?) shown at the top of the brake disc in the bonus images please.


Speedhunters_Bryn Sorry ignore my comment tagging you and thanks for always answering peoples tech questions :)


@greco i have a friend who talked about the potential to turbo and supercharge car. we thought he was mad. i guess not so mad after all!


yeh, just being a smart arse. Thanks Bryn and SH for the excellent article, without it I would have never knowen the car existed.


I dont mean to sound like a stranger to anybody on this site, but when I see this interesting Jaguar, I see the XJ220 and the XK120 in a LOT of ways, adjacently to the E-type, F-type and the XJ13, solely because like the XK120 and XJ13 it had so much going for it, because to me this car doesn't look like the kind of hybrid or e-car (idk the term) that has the type of ride that would feel like driving a dishwasher or an electric fan (no offense) and with the action of pulling the plug of this design for the community is just like the XJ13, and when I see how a bionic Jag can handle the supercar category I just remember it's beauty from the XJ220 and it's tragic ending. Hopefully, I'm not alone on this...


d_rav Not so mad seeing as it was done in the 80's on the Lancia Delta S4.  Clearly not a modern day visionary.


Seriously good looking!