Though the C-X75 never made production, its spirit lives on.
The Jaguar I-Pace all-electric performance crossover finally made its debut last week at Geneva. As Jaguar’s first-ever EV, it was vital to get everything right, from the technology to its design. But how does one go about designing an EV SUV with Jaguar proportions and attitude? You look to perhaps one of the greatest Jaguars never built. We spoke with Jaguar vehicle line director Ian Hoban at the Swiss show and learned that the UK automaker took design elements here and there from past and current models.
“Ian has a very close-knit team. He has very strong feelings about what’s right and what’s wrong. It was a clean sheet of paper” Hoban said. “The (I-Pace) is a whole new architecture. We did not feel we could get all of the design elements using an existing architecture. As an engineer it’s very liberating to work on a new architecture. Ian was very keen to do the cab forward design. That supercar-inspired cab forward design with mid-engine proportions. The C-X75, though clearly a different class of car, but you can sort of see a few things in terms of cab forward and proportion. The cab forward and wider, longer wheelbase gives you an awful lot of freedom in both design and engineering.”
Like the C-X75, the I-Pace has its power source, in this case its batteries, located at midship. Because engineers needed to get that center of gravity as low as possible, it also meant having the ability to stretch the wheelbase and have the wheels placed further out, meaning less front and rear overhang. Hoban added that Jaguar learned a lot from the I-Pace and, though he couldn’t discuss details, there are plans taking shape for additional uses of not only the I-Pace platform but also its battery and electric motor tech. So hey, you never know. There could one day be an all-electric Jaguar supercar with proportions similar, and perhaps even more extreme, than those of the C-X75.