In spite of the global recession, the last couple of years has seen some truly wonderful cars hit the streets, both from the Far East — Nissan GT-R, Lexus LFA — and Europe — Ferrari 458 Italia, Aston Martin Rapide, and Porsche Panamera. We also have a few cars — Lambo Estoque, Aston One-77 and the hybrid Porsche 918 Spyder — still waiting hesitantly in the wings.
However, straitened times subdued the car industry to a some extent, with many designs and concepts scrapped in favour of more sensible mass-appeal models. But with the recession finally over (OK, we’ll ignore the USA) and global markets expanding, the car is back as more than just transport. The annual Paris Motor Show lines up a whole new series of automotive wet dreams; some, like the new versions of the 599 and Maserati GT, are sure to be on the roads soon, but others — particularly those French fantasies — are destined to be, at best, one-off testbeds. Here’s my pick (in no particular order):
Billed as the forerunner for a Survolt racing series, this all-electric track car will go from 0-100kmph in under five seconds, with a racing range of over 200km. More a prototype than a concept, it was unveiled at the Le Mans 24-hour race and was recently thrashed silently (electric, remember?) around the Thruxton track by a TopGear team.
Another electric car, and this one truly a concept, created to celebrate Jaguar’s seventy-fifth anniversary. Clearly Jag’s design team is as frustrated a bunch as the rest of us — this cat looks as un-Jaguar-like as it’s possible to be at first glance — you almost expect to see McLaren badges on it — but a closer look and those ancestral genes begin to appear; the family mouth, the XJ220-like flanks, and a rear screen descended from the E-type.
Each wheel beneath those dominating arches has its own electric motor, giving the C-X75 780bhp, a claimed 0-100kmph of 3.4 seconds, and a top speed of 330kmph. Unfortunately, this will allow the C-X75 a range of only 110km. Fortunately, Jag has given it a pair of gas turbines up its rear (yes, folks, jet engines), each putting out 94bhp and running on any flammable liquid, from LP gas to bio diesel. Switching on the jets allows the electric motors’ lithium-ion batteries (housed in the nose) to recharge, extending the cat’s range to over 900km. Yay. Continue reading “Future Cars — a Dream Pick from the Paris Motor Show 2010”