The first Jaguar I ever recall sitting in was a beautiful red XJS: a V12 HE. I was very young, but distinctly remember being incredibly excited at the sight of this shiny, new and extremely sleek beast. I think it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen, and certainly had one of the throatiest roars I'd ever heard, with a lovely purr as it cruised up the A22.
I remember being excited every time I saw that car - and I still get the odd twinge, even now. On Friday afternoon, while visiting the Berkeley Boutique as a guest of Bremont and ATG Vintage Watches, I suddenly found myself rediscovering my inner nine year old (as the squeals on the accompanying video will testify). The Jaguar C-X75 concept really is the most wonderful thing I've seen an many a year: the curves of its silver flanks; the twin gas turbines visible through the rear window; the red Martin-Baker styled door handles positioned on the seat; the wonderfully techno-retro display; and, of course, the Bremont watch mounted proudly in the console. The clock is still a concept - as is the Jaguar - but is based upon the tried and tested (beyond endurance) MB watches developed with Martin Baker, and the recent pocket watch developed as a bespoke project for the "handmade" edition of Wallpaper* in August.
A beautifully-milled back, echoing the shape of the blades in the gas turbines, allows the clock to be mounted both on the dash and as a desk clock. Should the design be taken into production, Bremont hopes to produce a device to translate the energy from the braking / acceleration of the car into the rotary movement required to power the Soprod-modified automatic movement. Bremont are also looking at the possibility of installing a watch winder for periods of inactivity.
The car itself is studded with wonderful driver-centric design touches - some of which recall Jaguars of yesteryear (e.g. the E-Type digital dash or the flowing lines of the acheingly beautiful XJ-220), while others are pure Tron. For example, the speakers in each of the doors are concepts designed by Bowers & Wilkins. Each is backlit in a soothing blue, and contains a series on one watt "nano speakers" rather than the traditional woofer / tweeter configuration. The door release is situated between the legs of the driver, and draws on the red warning triangles used by Martin Baker in their ejector seats. The start / stop levers are above the driver's head, and, rather than have an adjustable seat, the entire console (including pedals) moves towards the driver, while strips illuminate around the seats, drawing you into the console.
The video shows the startup, from a track day at Le Mans. After a quick flying lap around the curves, the Jag checks its aerodynamics and then begins to test the twin gas turbines, before coming to rest with some lovely retro E-Type dials. It's hard not be excited by this concept from Jaguar, and I do hope that it makes it into production. The expected performance is staggering: 0-62 in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 204mph, thanks to the 4 x 195hp electric motors. Not bad for an electric car!
The C-X75 is available for viewing at The Berkeley Boutique until Friday 24th December and from Tuesday 28th to Friday 31st December 2010. More photos can be found here.