The Jaguar C-X75 was a stunning concept car that looked for a while that it would be heading for production. While it looked like the perfect car – beautiful fast, economical and exotic, it didn’t fit with Jaguar’s brand or aspirations and remains shelved and the source of many ‘what might have been’ articles.
The technology in the C-X75 is impressive and aimed to be hypercar fast and expensive while returning Prius style fuel economy. The concept thrilled many but it did little to further the Jaguar brand.
Jaguar have long suffered an image problem that labelled them as luxury cars for retired company directors. Even their sports cars were more about comfort and easy power than on the limit performance. While this has given the brand a steady core market it has also lost sales to German rivals with a more modern image.
In contrast Jaguar also has a history in fashionable, ground-breaking designs and race winning track cars. The problem in recent years has been to join these two contrasting elements of the brand image. The F-Type has done this rather successfully. It may not be an equal for the world-stopping E-Type of the 1960s but it is fashionable, desirable and youthful. It also has enough links with modern and historic Jaguars to make it feel very much part of the range. It will attract new customers and make the Jaguar name more attractive without upsetting the traditional customer base.
The C-X75 on the other hand doesn’t look or behave anything like a Jaguar. It has nothing in common with the company’s mass market executive cars and very little of the glamour of a limited edition hyper car with a 7 figure price tag would rub off on them. Like the XJ220 supercar it would be bought by a completely different market. While Jaguar might want to look more modern and youthful the C-X75 is a jump too far.
What’s worse is that the car has been developed at a time when competitors with bigger budgets such as BMW and Porsche are already putting their own edgy hybrid sports cars on the market making the C-X75 just another car that you’ll probably never see on the roads rather than something radical and new that might mean something to car buyers.
The good news is that Jaguar are putting the F-Type’s success and the technology developed for the C-X75 to good use and looking at a version of the hybrid engine for the roadster. Suddenly things start to make sense and perhaps with the compact turbo and super charged 4 cylinder engine coupled to an electric motor might just be the world-stopping sequel to the E-Type that Jaguar have never been able to match.