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Jaguar Concept Like No Other Hybrid

hybrid-jaguar-c-x75.jpgConcerned about trading off performance when moving to a hybrid? As some New Yawka’s say in Brooklyn, fugetaboutit. Jaguar used the Paris Auto Show to unveil the Jaguar C-X75, an electric vehicle concept car with a kick.

Reports about the car note that Jaguar believes the C-X75 will be able to go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, accelerate from 50 to 90 mph in 2.3 seconds, do a quarter mile in 10.2 seconds, and reach a top speed above 200 mph.

This is definitely not your father’s hybrid or EV.

So how does Jaguar plan to deliver this performance?  To start, like many other auto manufacturers who developed a hybrid version of their cars, Jaguar reduced the car’s weight. According to the Wall Street Journal, the car’s skin is made from a very thin (about 0.88 millimeter) aluminum. In fact, designers shaved off about a quarter of the thickness compared to current European production cars, which have skins that are typically 1 to 1.2 mm thick. 

Lower weight certainly helps. But there’s more. Primarily, the car will be an electric vehicle. It will be powered by four electric motors, one for each wheel. The motors will run off of a lithium-ion battery pack and each will deliver 195 hp of power. The car is expected to have a range of 68 miles if only the batteries are used.

What sets the Jaguar C-X75 apart from other hybrids and EVs is the inclusion of an unusual additional power source. The car will have two gas turbines rated at 94 hp apiece. According to CNet, the turbines “get their power from a flow of combustion gas — diesel, biofuels, compressed natural gas, or liquefied petroleum gas (the C-X75 has a 60-litre tank that accommodates all four).”

hybrid-jaguar-c-x75-inside.jpgIf the battery power runs low and a driver wants to extend the car’s range, the turbines can be used to generate electricity to complement the battery pack. Some industry sources have noted that the range can be extended up to 560 miles if the tank is full and if the power sources are used in an optimal manner.

If performance is more of an issue than driving range, the turbines can also be used to boost the car’s performance. Essentially, the turbines would work in conjunction with the battery-powered motors to deliver the anticipated acceleration, speedy quarter mile times, and top speed.

While the idea of using gas turbine technology in a car might seem like something new, this is not the first application by a long shot. According to Wired, “U.K. Rover built the first gas turbine-powered car, the Jet-1 in 1950.” And others have worked on the idea throughout the intermediate years.

Given its preference for performance over efficiency, and the use of the alternative fuel supply, the C-X75 will not be the hybrid choice for all drivers. Not to worry, Jaguar is not putting all of its hybrid eggs into this one basket. The company is examining the use of other technologies including a hybrid diesel possibly for the Jaguar XJ. And there is development work underway on a Jaguar an XF with a prototype flywheel hybrid system.

View a photo gallery of the Jaguar C-X75 here.
See how the car will look on the open road here.

By Jeff Carey

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