By Mark Kleis
Thursday, Oct 7th, 2010 @ 9:20 pm
 
With last week's Paris Motor Show the world was shown a beautiful concept brought by none other than Jaguar. This concept was unlike any other at the show, as it aimed to create an exotic supercar that thought about as far outside of the box as one could imagine while still having a vehicle that could theoretically be produced in the near future.

While Porsche opted for a reasonably more conventional gas-electric plug-in hybrid approach, Jaguar looked to the sky for its inspiration, creating a car powered by gas turbine engines. To be exact, the C-X75 is a plug-in gas-electric hybrid that has a 68-mile electric-only initial range, followed by an extended range thanks to two micro-gas turbines that recharge the lithium-ion batteries - in a similar fashion to how the Chevrolet Volt will work, but much, much cooler. And faster. Much, much faster.

The good news
Back to the breaking good news, according to "inside" sources speaking with British outfit Autocar, there is serious internal discussion at the moment concerning the possible future of an actual production C-X75. According to the sources, the discussion is currently not so much about whether or not the car will go into production, but rather if and when it does, in what volume.

Better explained, Autocar outlines the fact that if they produce 1,000 or fewer cars per year the production will be shifted towards more manual labor and coach building-type work, where as the second school of thought is to produce upwards of 2,000 vehicles a year. If you go with the first option you have lower tooling costs, but higher labor costs.

Alternatively, if Jaguar can make the case for closer to 2,000 units per year, then the development of more expensive automated tooling might be justified. This means that this discussion is likely being handled more by economists and speculators than the engineers and developers of the car itself, as the uncertainty of the world economies is likely going to be a major factor in determining demand for what will undoubtedly be a very expensive car.

The bad news
Because the technology behind the C-X75 is so radical, it will take "two-to-three years for implementation of the gas turbine technology, then another three-to-four years to integrate into a vehicle," says Jaguar's head of advanced powertrain, Tony Harper. That means that no matter what Jaguar decides, don't expect to see (or hear) a Jaguar C-X75 whiz by you on the interstate anytime before at least 2016.

A sprinkling of more good news
One additional tidbit of good news for those wishing to see this car come to life, the development of the gas micro-turbines, although lengthy, is expected to be less costly than developing more complex and more traditional internal combustion engines. Why? Because as Harper explained, the turbine is by nature far less complex than an internal combustion engine, using around 100 times fewer parts.

As it stands now, it looks as if a future for the C-X75 is fairly promising, and sparing severe economics collapse or unforeseen struggles at Jaguar, this futuristic concept car might be coming to a showroom near you sooner than most would have ever expected.


References
1.'Jag evaluates C-X75...' view