ANATOMY OF A STUNT CAR
JAGUAR C-X75, FROM SPECTRE
You don’t need us to tell you that it wasn’t a real Ferrari 250GT California that went flying out the back of Cameron’s dad’s garage in Ferris Bueller’s Day
Off, that the Audi S8 in Ronin was a lot more rear-wheel-drive than it ought to have been or that not even Bo Duke lands a Dodge Charger from low-earth orbit and gets to carry on driving. Movie cars are a different breed. Here’s how different.
This is the Jaguar C-X75 from
Spectre. It didn’t have electric motors, a carbon monocoque or the high-revving 1.6-litre turbo and supercharged engine that was promised for the ill-fated road car. Built for the film by Williams Advanced Engineering, this is what you found if you peered beneath the skin.
1. TUBULAR FRAME
The stunt car wasn’t built around a standard car chassis, but instead a bespoke steel spaceframe designed, above all, to be tough. When the car came back from filming it was put on a jig – the 60mm diameter tubing hadn’t moved or bent even a fraction of a degree.
2. BODY PANELS
Made of flimsy and cheap to replace fibreglass. Handy for knocks.
Something relatively familiar – Jaguar’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8. The power was turned up to around 600bhp, but the reason the engine was suited to the task was the supercharger’s instant torque and response. Essential for accurate driving.
The gearbox itself – a 6spd sequential GT3 unit from transmission specialists Ricardo – isn’t the story here. Instead it’s the gearing itself. The car doesn’t need to do massively high speeds, so all the gears are designed to fit into an operational range from about 32 to 112kph.
From a World Rally Car. Entirely predictable. For the scene where it drives down the steps, the ride height was increased by 40mm.
Not a key concern, perhaps surprisingly. This C-X75 weighed about 1,500kg. Strength was more important.
Carbon shell seats, five-point harnesses, on-board emergency cutouts, full fire extinguisher system, even a scuba tank. But no traction control.
Another rallying component. Easy skid instigation courtesy of a hydraulic handbrake that incorporates a clutch to disconnect drive to the rear wheels when pulled.
9. FUEL TANKS
Small, to minimise risk and aid location within the car. One 10-litre tank sited behind each seat.
10. QUICK REPAIR
If anything goes wrong, the car needs to be fixed quickly. The team could have the clutch changed in 1.5 hours or simply roll out another identical machine. Seven were built.