At the 2010 Paris Motor Show, onlookers were amazed by what they saw pride of place at the Jaguar stand: a million Euro carbon fibre supercar, shrouding the latest composite technologies (as developed by the Williams F1 team) and a pair of gas turbine engines.
What stunned everyone else even more, though, was that Jaguar had given the C-X75 concept car the green light for production. Sure, the gas turbines it had nestled behind the rear bulkheads wouldn't be made available instantly – in its place would be a 1.6 turbocharged four-cylinder engine (again co-developed with Williams) – but this crazy contraption would eventually find its way into the hands of the very wealthy people it was aimed at.
At least, that's what we thought would happen. Even though five development cars have been tested and put through their paces since May 2011, Jaguar has confirmed that the C-X75 project has been axed, mostly due to the current on-going financial crisis.
In an official statement, Adrian Hallmark – Jaguar's global brand director – declared that, whilst he believed that Jaguar "could have made the car work", the general consensus was that "it seems the wrong time to make an £800,000 to £1million supercar".
Hallmark went on to say that the project's seeming lack of purpose in the Jaguar range was amplified by the demand for "other products from us that people are screaming out for", such as the XF and XJ executive saloons and estates, the XK grand tourer and the upcoming F-Type sportscar, along with a new range of Jaguars that are currently undergoing their respective stages of planning, development and feasibility studies.
Strangely, though, Jaguar will continue to operate and develop the five working test cars until May next year. It's understood that, once Jaguar has no further use for them, three will be sold at auction, one will be kept at a future Jaguar museum, and the final car will be kept by the company for demonstration runs and other public appearances.
Also, whilst the partnership with Williams will also die with the C-X75 project in May, Hallmark hopes the two fabled British firms can co-operate on future projects together.
In all honesty, the claims there's no demand or viability for such a machine is a bit of an odd one from our perspectives – if there wasn't a demand for cars like this, stuff like the Koenigsegg Agera and Pagani Huayra wouldn't be in existence, whilst upcoming uber-expensive supercars such as the Porsche 918 Spyder, the McLaren "P1", the Ferrari "F70" and the 1,600bhp Bugatti "SuperVeyron" wouldn't be in development,
That said, we don't run Jaguar, so we don't know the ins and outs of everything – we are just mere spectators and, as a result, that's likely that we'll never know the full extent of the decisions and the processes that lead to the rise and fall of the C-X75 project…