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Jaguar Doing Production Evaluation On C-X75 Hybrid SuperCar

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On: Fri, Oct 8, 2010 at 3:55PM | By: Chris Weiss

Jaguar Doing Production Evaluation On C-X75 Hybrid SuperCar

We fell in love with it the minute we saw it. Autoweek gave it the "Best of Show" for the Paris Motor Show. And I think every car journalist, fan, and show-goer has been quietly thinking the same thing: "Please, please, please consider producing the Jaguar C-X75." Porsche did it with the 918 Spyder Hybrid, so crossing fingers doesn't seem like an entirely futile effort, despite the official line that the C-X75 is a concept with no plans for production.

Well, it looks like Jaguar will follow in Porsche's lead in running a production feasibility study of the C-X75, as told to Autocar by anonymous sources. The company will consider the viability of producing between 1,000 and 2,000 models.

While other publications and blogs were reporting that there were no plans whatsoever for a production C-X75, Autocar came back from its own discussions with Jaguar last week and said that inside sources indicated the company was quietly considering the possibility. So it's not surprising that the publication is first on this story.

Jaguar is looking at two individual options: a lower run of 1,000 models that will use more handcrafted pieces and less tooling, and a higher run of around 2,000 cars where the focus would be more on automated assembly. Jaguar will need to look at the costs and implications of each independently to decide which one, if either, is a future possibility.

While the idea that Jaguar is mulling production over is excellent news to all of us who loved the C-X75, the bad news is that production will take an estimated five to seven years. As we reported when the concept debuted, part of its magic is in a pair of gas/flex-fuel turbines that are smaller and more efficient than traditional gas engines. However, these turbines are at a very rough prototype stage and will take another five + years to get to production-ready status. And that's if the technology proves feasible, which is far from 100 percent.

If the gas turbines fail to become a practical technology for the car, Jaguar could always use a gas engine. However, that would require a significant overhaul of the concept. The turbines delivered a smaller, more efficient package, allowing Jaguar to push the cabin back by 300 mm since there was no massive powerplant to deal with. Without them, we'd basically be looking at a new car inside and out.

While the C-X75's fate is still up in the air, one thing seems clear: automakers are thinking about high-performance hybrids and electrics in a more serious, less conceptual way. We saw it with the Porsche 918 and now we're seeing it with the Jaguar.

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