The Jaguar C-X75 made its debut as a plug-in hybrid two-seater back in the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The exotic concept is powered by four electric motors. The batteries driving these motors are recharged using two diesel-fed micro gas turbines instead of a conventional four-stroke engine. If you think that such a drivetrain can only be found in a concept car or science fiction book, then you are very wrong.
Jaguar’s parent company, Tata, has formally opened a factory that will build the gas turbines for the Jaguar C-X75 supercar. The Bladon Jets Engineering Centre in Coventry will employ 15 people and house the equipment for the production of micro gas turbines, which the company has filed a patent for. The turbine engine weighs 35 kg each. It has fewer moving parts than an internal combustion engine and don’t need oil lubrication or water cooling, thus enabling packaging and weight-saving advantages.
In the C-X75, the gas turbine combines with four independent electric motors at each wheel to send the Jaguar from 0 to 100km/h in 3.4sec while emitting a mere 28g/km of CO2. It’s like eating low fat ice-cream – enjoyable but without the guilt. The turbine-powered C-X75 will be a limited production. A hybrid turbo four cylinder will power most of the 250 examples of the C-X75 earmarked for production. This powertrain is developed by Formula One team Williams.
Even if you have the dough, you may have to wait as the production version of the C-X75 aren’t expected to arrive at least until 2015.