Jaguar C-X75: Belle of the Paris Auto Show to Enter Production

At a press conference on Friday morning in London, Jaguar answered the question vexing hand-raisers for the Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid: is $845,000 too dear a price for a next-generation supercar?

Why, no, not at all.

Jaguar announced it would build 250 examples of a car based on the C-X75 concept, the 205 m.p.h. hybrid unveiled at the Paris auto show last September to near-unanimous adulation. When it ships in late 2013, the car will be priced from £700,000 to £900,000, roughly $1.1 million to $1.5 million at current exchange rates.

The all-wheel-drive C-X75 will be equipped with a low-displacement, turbocharged internal-combustion engine and two electric motors, one at each axle. In concept form, the C-X75’s 188-horsepower gas engine charged a battery pack, which in turn spun four 195-horsepower electric motors, one at each wheel. Because development is ongoing, Jaguar did not reveal output numbers for the production car’s gas-electric powertrain.

Whereas Jaguar estimated the concept car’s purely electric range at 68 miles, the figure has been detuned to roughly 31 miles for production.

Acceleration targets, however, are unchanged, with a claimed zero-to-60 m.p.h. run in under 3 seconds, zero to 100 m.p.h. in under 6 and a top speed in excess of 200 m.p.h. Carbon emissions, meanwhile, are expected to come in under 99g/km.

Williams F1, the Formula One racing program, is being retained by Jaguar to assist in development of the car’s carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, aerodynamics and hybrid system. Given Williams’ successful application of kinetic energy recapture systems, or KERS, to its Formula One cars in recent seasons, such a system — whereby energy is captured under braking and stored for use at the driver’s discretion — may be applied to the C-X75.

Williams F1 also announced the appointment of Paul Newsome, a former Jaguar Land Rover engineer, to lead the joint-development project from Williams’ headquarters in Grove, England.

In a statement released by Jaguar, the brand said it would “stay true to the initial concept design study” for the C-X75. “Even in the world of supercars, we can still produce the most beautiful,” said Ian Callum, the Jaguar design director.