Paris Auto Show: Jaguar C-X75 Concept Is a 205-M.P.H. Hybrid


What is it?
Jaguar C-X75 Concept

What’s special about it?
Jaguar has been busily reinventing itself under its new ownership by Tata Motors, and part of the program has been the revival of its long-moribund program to develop an attention-getting supercar. At the 2010 Paris Auto Show, the Jaguar C-X75 Concept has finally been revealed after months of tantalizing tidbits from Jaguar designers and executives. The surprise is, this supercar is powered by an innovative powertrain that combines hub-mounted electric motors and twin micro gas turbines. The Jaguar C-X75 is described by company executives as a “range-extended electric two-seater supercar.”

While the powertrain is environmentally responsible, Jaguar is serious about building performance potential into its midengine all-wheel-drive supercar. The output is 580 kilowatts (778 horsepower) and 1,180 pound-feet of torque. Jaguar says this will propel the all-aluminum, 2,970-pound car to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 10.3 seconds at 160 mph. A top speed of 205 mph is also within reach.

A 145-kW electric motor from SR Drives is mounted at each hub. In electric-only mode, the 19.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack powers the motors, enabling a driving range of 68 miles. Twin micro gas turbines produced by Blandon Jets can charge the batteries while the car is in motion, extending range to as much as 560 miles. In the powertrain’s Track mode, the turbines can deliver power directly to the electric motors, making possible a top speed of 205 mph. A 15.9-gallon tank carries the fuel required by the turbines. Once parked, the batteries can be charged in 6 hours.

The Jaguar C-X75 measures 183 inches overall, 79.5 inches wide and 47.4 inches tall. It sits on a 107.3-inch wheelbase. Built largely in aluminum, the car weighs 2,970 pounds, some 506 pounds of which is represented by the battery pack.

You can see the evolution of the new design language that Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum has introduced with the Jaguar XF and Jaguar XJ. The new car is shorter, slimmer and lower than most supercars, and the Jaguar designers have made the concept car’s aerodynamics as efficient as possible to enhance performance, notably the exhaust-blown underbody aero diffuser. Matt Beavan, the car’s principal designer, also says, “We wanted to emphasize how the air makes its way not just over the car but is also channeled into the rear air box. When operating at 80,000 rpm, each gas turbine requires 25,000 liters of air per minute, which means we need a series of carefully honed intakes.”

The cabin’s doors swing forward and up at the press of a touchpad. The seats are fixed to the rear bulkhead as in an open-wheel racing car and the steering wheel, controls, instrument binnacle and pedals all adjust toward the driver. Jaguar’s characteristic laptop-style TFT (Thin Film Transfer) screen displays the instrument function, while the cabin glows with ambient light in the same cool, blue color introduced by the Jaguar XF.

Callum says the new car recalls the 1966 Jaguar XJ13 Le Mans prototype, a midengine racing car powered by Jaguar’s then-new V12 engine that he describes as “possibly the most beautiful Jaguar ever made.” Though it never raced, the XJ13 expressed Jaguar’s technology-intensive racing heritage of the 1950s and early ’60s. The Jaguar C-X75 is meant to once again establish the carmaker as a leader in technology as well as style





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