The Jaguar C-X75, the two-seat high performance hybrid sports car that wowed audiences at the Paris motor show last year, will remain a concept car no longer.
Jaguar Land Rover will begin production of a road version of the electric car in mid-2013, the Tata Motors subsidiary announced on Friday.
The launch is part of a drive announced by the firm at the Geneva Motor show earlier this year for 40 new “significant product actions” over the next five years, spread across both brands.
Late last year, Tata Motors said it would be spending £1 billion a year for the next five years on Jaguar Land Rover, including capital expenditure, and research and development, largely centred in the UK.
“We will be evolving all the time, downsizing engines, investing in new technology,” said a spokesperson for JLR. Last month, the firm unveiled a new 2.2-litre diesel engine for the XF.
New engine plant
JLR, which currently uses Ford engines, has not commented on speculation that it is also considering a new engine plant in the UK.
“A supercar like the C-X75 is the logical choice to showcase cutting-edge design, intelligent use of new environmental technologies and motorsport-inspired performance,” said Dr Ralph Speth, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, in London on Friday.
The C-X75, which will be priced at between £700,000 and £900,000, has a carbon composite body. It has two powerful electric motors and four-wheel drive and is capable of going from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in less than three seconds. Using just the electric engine it is capable of reaching a speed of over 50 kilometres an hour. Just 250 cars will be built.
Williams F1, the Formula 1 team, will be partners on the project, providing expertise on aerodynamics, and the use of carbon composites, the firms said.
Jaguar Land Rover's announcement follows the launches of hybrid supercars by German rivals BMW and Porsche, and Britain's Lotus, as the super car tackles tighter restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions globally.
Statement of intent
“It's a statement of intent and a sign of their future ambitions,” said Mr Ian Fletcher, luxury auto analyst at IHS Global Insight in London. “It shows where they want [the company] to go and compete against all the BMWs, Audis, and Porsches of this world,” he said.