Jaguar will build the jet-powered C-X75 hybrid supercar, though alas, the jet power of the concept cars will not make it to production, at least not now. The Jaguar C-X75 hybrid, which debuted at the 2010 Paris Auto Show was confirmed for production in press conference today. The hybrid will combine “internal combustion power” with electric motors to achieve supercar performance with lower fuel consumption and the low CO2 emissions coveted in Europe.
The Jaguar C-X75 hybrid had two micro gas-turbines, spinning at 80,000 rpm, The innovative, lightweight micro gas-turbines quickly and efficiently recharge the Lithium-ion batteries, which can also be charged six-hour domestic plug-in–although the U.K. and Europe use 220v for household use.
On fully charged batteries, the C-X75 hybrid is capable of electric-only operation for 68 miles, though with the turbines running, Jaguar say the “theoretic range” increases to 560 miles.
The Jaguar C-X75 has four electric motors, one for each wheel, providing outstanding grip and control. According to Jaguar, “(T)his drivetrain (has) the ability to independently vector torque to each wheel across the full speed range. This offers potential benefits in terms of stability and control, creating an infinitely and instantaneously adjustable traction and stability control system.”
The electric motors are light and compact. Each motor weighs just 10lbs but produces 195 bhp and an mind-bending combined total torque output of 1180 lb-ft.
Jaguar worked with Bladon Jets to design the first workable axial-flow micro-turbine to the point at which they can be a realistic power source. Each of the micro gas-turbines weighs just less than 80 lbs and produces 70kW (about 93 hp) of power at a constant 80,000rpm. Turbines work best at a constant speed, making a hybrid application superior to the direct drive Chrysler turbine-powered cars of the 1960s.
However, the announcement by Jaguar said that the Jaguar C-X75 hybrid would have a “downsized highly boosted petrol engine,” and since turbines don’t run on gasoline, the production version will have a compact turbocharged/supercharged engine of some sort. But Jaguar’s parent company Tata has “taken a significant stake in Bladon Jets, and will develop this very advanced (turbine) as a medium-term aspiration that will play a part in Jaguar vehicles of the future.”
Like the concept, though, the Jaguar C-X75 will have a lightweight all-carbon fiber chassis developed with the assistance of Williams F1, the British Formula 1 team, and the compact nature of the powertrain with greater freedom of positioning means the Jaguar supercar can be smaller than its rivals.
It will also have outstanding performance, hitting 60 mph from a dead stop in less than three seconds and 100 mph in under six seconds. Jaguar says the top speed will be in excess of 200 mph.
“The C-X75 received an incredible reception as a concept car,” said Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar brand director. “We’ve been building on that momentum and there is a clear business case for this exclusive halo model. No other vehicle will better signify Jaguar’s renewed confidence and excellence in technological innovation than this.”
Beginning today, Jaguar will be “taking expressions of interest via its website www.jaguar.com of via its dedicated C-X75 contact service on the following numbers:”
- UK: 0800 015 8605
- International: +44(0) 1932 335370 or +44(0) 1932 335365
- China: 400 820 8955
The Jaguar C-X75 hybrid qualifies as a hyper-supercar with its technology, but it will also be rare, with production limited to 250 units, and expensive. The C-X75 will have a price starting at £700,00–or about $1,150,000 at the current exchange rate.
Another car company may have been “born from jets”, but the Jaguar C-X75 could be powered by them. Not for now, however. But the for the present, or at least as soon as we come up with a mil-plus, we’ll sign up. What’s that phone number again…?
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