ANATOMY OF A STUNT CAR

JAGUAR C-X75, FROM SPEC­TRE

Top Gear (Malaysia) - - Movie Cars -

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.

3. EN­GINE

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.

4. GEAR­BOX

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.

5. SUS­PEN­SION

From a World Rally Car. En­tirely pre­dictable. For the scene where it drives down the steps, the ride height was in­creased by 40mm.

6. WEIGHT

Not a key con­cern, per­haps sur­pris­ingly. This C-X75 weighed about 1,500kg. Strength was more im­por­tant.

7. SAFETY

Car­bon shell seats, five-point har­nesses, on-board emer­gency cutouts, full fire ex­tin­guisher sys­tem, even a scuba tank. But no trac­tion con­trol.

8. HAND­BRAKE

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.

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