We can appreciate a good track car as much as the next enthusiast, but we're beginning to bemoan their creation as a way out for automakers to charge wealthy customers obscene amounts of money for cars they're not even legally allowed to drive on the road. (As least, not in countries were homologation can't be circumvented with a sufficient bribe to the right bureaucrat. Which we're not entirely sure includes these United States.)

It's the road that Lamborghini is expected to take with the "production" version of the Sesto Elemento concept, and it appears to be the way Jaguar plans to bring its C-X75 concept to production. At least, the jet-powered one, anyway.

The C-X75, as you may recall, bowed at the 2010 Paris Auto Salon with an awesomely innovative powertrain: two micro-turbines acting as range-extenders to electric motors. Reports then began to surface that Jaguar intended to build the supercar, only that the commercially available version would pack a 1.6-liter turbo four being developed with the Williams Formula One team and packing about 500 horsepower instead of the turbine setup. (Not too shabby, but still no turbine.)

Then parent company Tata invested in a turbine outfit called Bladon Jets near Jaguar's headquarters in Coventry, leading to the development that a limited quantity would be offered with turbine power like the concept's. The latest reports, however, indicate that even those would be confined strictly to the track.

Now don't get us wrong, we applaud Jaguar and Tata pursuing the technology of getting this experimental powertrain into a "marketable" car, however much it may cost. We're just not sure that keeping it confined to the race track, given the prices they'll be bound to charge, is the right way to go about it. Agree or disagree? Cast your vote in the poll below.



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  • 76 Comments
      clearspan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am tired of looking at concept cars at auto shows that are never going to be built. Whats the point. The car companies say look at this beautiful car with an incredibly powerful engine and cutting edge electronics, to bad we are never going to build it. This is how we can design cars but to bad you can only drive that ugly design over there. Whats the point. When Jaguar designed its new version of the XJ I saw it in magazines, when the production watered down version of that design came out I was very disappointed, don't show me what you can't build show me what you are going to build.
      imag
      • 2 Years Ago
      High-dollar supercars for the track are completely, totally absurd. A low-end formula car or a Radical will still wipe the floor with any of them, while being more fun to drive, and more reliable. There is no point having a full car like that on a track. The whole *point* of a supercar is that it can do both things. The reality is that most supercars aren't even very fast on track relative to halfway decent race cars. All that said, this is one case where it is interesting to prove the technology out in a track setting. If customers are willing to do that, they have more money than brains, but Jag should do it, just as Ferrari does with the FXX.
      bram2thabriggityb
      • 2 Years Ago
      its a serial hybrid. make the engine/generator modular. unbolt, unplug and hoist out the whole thing out in 5 minutes. then when you have a better motor or get a turbine past the epa its plug and play. :)
      infinitycj
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yet, another gorgeous car from Jaguar!
      Barrett Garese
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would expect that getting the turbines out in a more limited fashion is part of their plan to getting them out in a larger way later on. The reality is that something that complex requires a smaller test before large scale production, and a limited-sales supercar is one way of accomplishing that.
      robsphase
      • 2 Years Ago
      Pontiac had the Fiero that would "compete" with Ferrari. Yeah right, they did say that but then they forgot the engine. Delorean was supposed to be fast but then the powder up the nose was all that went fast. Again a motor was forgotten. Now Jaguar has an awesome looking car WITH plenty of power to compete with any exotic car and they want it detuned? People have complained about electric cars being slow. This is an incredible electric car, the turbines are for recharging this incredicle electric car. This should be the model all others follow not make this beautiful car into a slug!
      Ice Man Inc
      • 2 Years Ago
      As in developing an idea to an exceptable final product we need to explore ALL avenues of options in its developement even though some ideas and options may seem abstract to us at the time of the design phase we none the less must put them all on the table. The final outcome will have been thoroughly thought thru and will become the basis for advancement. Let's try mini-turbines, let's try developing dependable 100 hp per cylinder designs. It's the forward thinking of the proactive mind that will get us to what we're after.
      leeedy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Funny. I wrote the first magazine full history of Chrysler's Gas Turbine Car program back in the 1970s and it was published in a major magazine. For many, many years I suggested that the best use of gas turbine technology was not as a means of powering the wheels directly, but as a means of making a killer hybrid electric. But all that got was laughs and arguments. Now... all these many decades later, here is Jaguar doing it and people are STILL arguing. A car built this way could run on ANY substance that flows through a pipe and combusts with air... from Chanel #5 to peanut oil to corn squeezings... or the very cheapest petroleum. And as a hybrid electric it ought to be a magnificent combination. But somehow, people have the idea today that this is something NEW????
        Hazdaz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @leeedy
        Its not new at all, but people (and companies especially) are afraid of change. These companies have billions and billions of dollars invested in equipment and tooling that is set up for churning out engines with cylinders. They have millions of collective hours worth of expertise and knowledge and research data going back some 100 years about the workings of internal combustion engines. They have hundreds of thousands of techs working at dealerships that only know how to repair suck-squeeze-band-blow. There is just soooo much momentum with the current design of ICE that to get any design out there that doesn't follow the typical layout is a challenge very few are willing to take. Heck, even within the world of ICE, even more obscure designs, like rotaries are a dieing breed, and then even within the realm of engines with actual cylinders, they are almost universally in an inline or V configuration - I think today only Porsche, Subaru and maybe Alfa, run a boxer configuration in cars. It would be nice to see Jag go with this turbine design, but I realistically don't see that happening... the head-wind is just too strong.
      stewart
      • 2 Years Ago
      kinda gives a new twist to turbo lag huh?
      bmoreland
      • 2 Years Ago
      My 1969 E -type coupe still turns heads where ever I go. I keep it garaged and covered so that the custom 3 layer silver paint glows in the dark and on a sunny day, you gotta wear sunglasses to look at it and it still will run 152 mph and feel like it's on rails with the most beautiful sound you can imagine if you like to listen to a well tuned engine doing it's thing. I really like the looks of this new one though...even if it does smack of Corvett just a little bit.
      philipdoyle2
      • 2 Years Ago
      These things are beautiful but useless. Jaguar's target audience is the ultra-wealthy so what the the heck, build 'em and sell them for obscene amounts of money to whatever wealthy idiot wants to buy one. The turbine is a bad idea though.
      jlv327
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope I hit the lottery tonight !! lol
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