Video: Jaguar C-X75 prototype

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Video: Jaguar C-X75 prototype

For those in the market for a top-level supercar, these are exciting times.

Duking it out for the performance car crown are the Ferrari LaFerrari (yes, we know it's a silly name) and the stunning McLaren P1. Showcasing ground-breaking hybrid technology, both cars will push the boundaries of performance and technology into previously uncharted territories.

However, what may surprise you is that those two supercar giants were, until very recently, facing some very stiff competition from a rather more unlikely marque: Jaguar.

Unveiled as a concept at the 2010 Paris motor show, the company's C-X75 was a radical vision of the future of fast cars.

It was originally designed to run on gas turbines, but as Jaguar started development of a customer model that was changed to a force-fed 1.6-litre (yes, really) petrol engine mated to electric motors for a total 800bhp.

Of course, Jaguar isn't new to this kind of thing, having released the bonkers XJ220 back in 1992. That car also screwed huge horsepower from a relatively tiny engine. Its 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 developed 542bhp – enough for it to contend with even today's rarefied performance machines.

Unfortunately, Jaguar canned the C-X75 project due to the ongoing global economic crisis. However, the cutting edge tech is likely to be used in forthcoming Jag projects, as the team behind it explains.

It's not all geekery, however. The video also features some glorious shots of the C-X75 doing something we'll never see it do on the road: going sideways.