May 6th, 2011
07:55 PM GMT
When I walked into the Jaguar super secret press conference Friday morning, I was stunned to see Frank Williams and Adam Parr, the Chairman of Williams F1, on the podium next to a Jaguar muscle car.
You can forgive me in the mean time if I thought Jaguar was getting back in Formula 1. So many car companies have gotten out of high performance racing due to the costs involved (think Toyota).
While were we promised a 'major announcement' as part of Jaguar Land Rover's massive redevelopment under Tata Motors, I thought this would be a huge and expensive gamble. The young ladies on the marketing team, all wearing matching black dresses with Jaguar pins, were friendly but would not give us press releases until after the press conference and the embargo was lifted.
Alas, Jaguar is not getting back in to F1. Its just decided to sell a $1 million dollar supercar with Williams technology.
Oh, and it will be a hybrid with two electric engines under the sleek gray body.
Jaguar promises will be do 0-60MPH in under 3 seconds.
Jaguar also promises it will only sell 250 vehicles – not a year, but in total. So, hurry up if you want one!
Carl-Peter Forster - the German CEO in charge of two famous British marques now owned by India's Tata – says the company will easily make money on these supercars, dubbed the C-X75. And he tells me Jaguar Land Rover came out of the recession quite strong.
With dozens of upgrades in the pipeline, a rumored Jag crossover SUV and Land Rovers starting to be assembled in India, the company is clearly bullish on the luxury end of the market.
But a $1 million car? Forster says it will be a collectors item and he suspects some owners won't even bother to have their new toy registered, as they could just be used on closed tracks – and not on the road.
If you did want to use it on the road, it will go "in excess" 200 MPH, if need be.
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