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Jaguar cuts C-X75 from schedule

More than it can chew: Jaguar has axed the C-X75 plug-in supercar, citing global economic austerity measures.

Radical plug-in hybrid supercar now off Jaguar’s agenda as C-X75 gets the chop

12 Dec 2012

JAGUAR has reportedly axed the radical C-X75 plug-in hybrid supercar from its production agenda, a result of the shaky global economy and a desire to focus its investments on more mainstream future models like a sub-XF premium sedan.

Global brand director Adrian Hallmark was this week quoted by UK publication Autocar stating that, while the company could have made the car work, now was the wrong time to launch a circa-£1 million ($A1.5 million) model, considering the global austerity measures in place.

The ballistic green missile had been slated for a 200-unit production run in 2014, with two cashed-up Australians even expressing firm interest.

However, as we reported in October, the company has recently cooled its jets on progressing the car beyond running-prototype stage.

Jaguar Land Rover global director of group sales operations Phil Popham told GoAuto at the Australian International motor show in October that the C-X75 had not received a production green light, but that it would “still go on-sale at some point.” The C-X75 was first revealed as a concept at the 2010 Paris motor show with a hybrid drivetrain featuring a pair of radical (for a car) gas turbines and four electric motors, one mounted at each wheel.

6 center imageLeft: Jaguar global brand director Adrian Hallmark.

Later versions used a manic F1-inspired 1.6-litre twin-charged 375kW petrol engine that could rev to 10,000rpm in place of the turbines and placed an electric motor on each axle, powered by a liquid/air-cooled battery pack.

Jaguar has announced the powertrain was undergoing track testing in prototypes, and was confident of a 2.8 second 0-100km/h sprint time juxtaposed by fuel consumption as low as 4.0 litres per 100km (plus a pure EV range of 60km).

These figures would have put the C-X75 in the same performance ballpark as Porsche’s forthcoming and equally expensive 918 plug-in hybrid.

The production cars would have featured extensive use of carbon-fibre, with the lightweight material used on the chassis, most body panels and the rear sub-frame. The overall structure was created in conjunction with the Williams Formula One team.

However, Mr Hallmark echoed comments given to GoAuto by Mr Popham in stating that much of the core hybrid technology and aerodynamic advancements developed for the C-X75 will find their way into future JLR products.

Mr Hallmark also said the company expected to work with Williams F1 again on other projects in the future.

As we reported at the launch of the revised, cheaper XF sedan range earlier this month, Jaguar is believed to have made a sub-XF small luxury car to take on the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class a red hot priority.

This small sedan is believed to have supplanted a potential small SUV in the global development pecking order, with Mr Hallmark previously stating that Jaguar’s partner brand Land Rover had that side of the market well covered.

News of the C-X75’s axing comes the same day as JLR CEO Ralf Speth formally signed a letter of intent paving the way for an automotive partnership in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The company signed an agreement with the Saudi National Industrial Clusters Development Program to buy aluminium from what is being described as one of the world’s largest aluminium smelters.

The new Range Rover features extensive use of the lightweight metal – including a world-first aluminium SUV platform – while most future Jaguars are also expected to be made of aluminium.

It is then expected to set-up a manufacturing facility in the Kingdom to press body panels, and could even look to produce a future Land Rover-based model at the plant in the future.

JLR executives also confirmed in October that the Indian-owned, British-based company planned to build cars in China for the Chinese market under a joint venture with local brand Chery.

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