Jaguar C-X75 to get 10,000rpm, 500hp four-cylinder

by Andrew Ganz
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  • Jaguar's plug-in hybrid supercar will feature a turbocharged and supercharged 1.6-liter four.

    The production version of Jaguar's C-X75 supercar will feature a plug-in hybrid powertrain with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, the automaker confirmed today. While the four might seem like a significant downgrade from the concept's unique micro gas-turbines, it's actually one of the more advanced piston engines to ever hit the market.

    The small-displacement mill will rev to 10,000 rpm, feature port and direct injection and make roughly 500 horsepower with the aid of both a turbocharger and a supercharger. Mounted at the middle of the C-X75, the engine will power the rear wheels through a seven-speed single-clutch transmission (Jaguar claims it saves 220 lbs. over a dual-clutch unit) or, when needed, generate electricity to charge the car's lithium ion battery pack.

    The four-cylinder supplements a pair of electric motors, one mounted at each axle, according to an AutoCar report. All-electric and hybrid modes will be possible (though there will be no gas-only mode), and when optimized for performance the system will be able to deliver a 3.0-second zero-to-60 mph sprint along with a top speed somewhere north of 200 mph.

    In all-electric mode, the powertrain is reportedly good for a zero-to-60 time of 6.0 seconds and a range of 37 miles.

    Jaguar plans to build about 200 examples of the C-X75. Pricing has not yet been finalized, but look for the plug-in supercar to command at least $1 million.

    About the C-X75 Concept

    There are concept cars and then there are ground breaking, mind blowing concept cars that take advanced technologies and find a way to apply them to practical creations. (The use of the word 'practical' when describing the C-X75 Concept must be done with extreme caution).

    For starters, the C-X75 Concept can hardly be fit into any conventional description box, on one hand it can be considered an electric car, on another a hybrid, another yet a turbine-powered car. In reality, it is all three.

    First off, to give a better understanding of how unique this concept car is, it has a top speed of 205 mph (330km/h) - unusually high for an electric motor-driven vehicle. But it isn't simply configured for top speed, in fact, it also features all-wheel-drive and can blast from a dead stop to 100mph in an astonishing 5.5 seconds, a faster time than most sports cars boast when traveling to 60 mph.

    Not done yet, this Concept supercar is also capable of running in purely electric (zero tailpipe emissions) mode for 68 miles (109 km) on a six-hour domestic plug-in charge. When the initial charge runs out, then the wildly unique use of lightweight micro gas-turbines kick in to quickly and efficiently recharge the Lithium-ion batteries. All told, the C-X75 has a traditional passenger car and hybrid beating theoretical range of 560 miles (900km).

    Tell me more about those...turbines?

    Developed in partnership with Bladon, the Jaguar C-X75 Concept features two micro gas-turbines, which spin at 80,000 rpm. The miniaturized turbine blade - the first viable axial-flow micro-turbine - increases the compression and efficiency of micro gas-turbines to the point at which they can be viewed as a realistic power source for automobiles. Each of the micro gas-turbines weighs 77 lbs and produces 94 brake horsepower (70kW) of power at a constant 80,000 rpm.

    The energy created by the turbines is then stored in the batteries, and from there meets the road via four independent electric motors. According to Jaguar, using individual motors at each wheel actually has benefits in terms of weight-saving and distribution, packaging and efficiency. Each motor weighs just 110 lbs but produces 195 horsepower (145kW) of power and an pavement-shredding combined total torque output of 1,18 0lb-ft.

    Because each wheel is driven by its own electric motor, the C-X75 Concept is four-wheel drive, yet without the weight disadvantages of a purely mechanical traditional set-up. Obviously, with independent motors comes both the inherent challenge and ability to properly 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.

    While many automakers - such as Lamborghini and BMW - have turned to carbon fiber for weight savings, Jaguar opted for the use of aluminum to give its supercar rigidity without weighing it down. To add to the green image, about 50 percent of the metal comes from recycled sources, too.

    All told, this car weighs in at just 2,970 lbs. - an incredibly light weight given its four-wheel drive capability.

    Step inside the beast

    With as much innovation and creativity as Jaguar packed into the drivetrain of the Concept, one might think they would be out of ideas by the time it came down to minding the simple details such as the interior design. Not so, says Jaguar.

    For starters, a new interface for the driver has also been created for the C-X75 Concept using high-resolution TFT screens, including the Jaguar Co-Pilot display in the center console which supports the driver in extracting the full potential of the C-X75 Concept by seamlessly managing information.

    The main driver information screen is housed within the instrument binnacle. Needles float on the periphery of the twin cowls and sweep round the outer edge to display the status and rpm of the two turbines. The design team combined designs from instrumentation in the new XJ saloon with those from fighter aircraft to create virtual 3D "?gimbals' around which the gauges wrap and rotate to provide status updates.

    When it comes to keeping your hind-end plastered where it need be when utilizing all of the power the C-X75 Concept has to offer, Jaguar confirms that the seats are attached to the bulkhead - just like a single-seater racing car, allowing air to feed the turbines by passing smoothly around them via channels in the structure of the body.

    Video proof

    A video released by Jaguar following the car's London debut in December shows exactly how much work and the attention to detail necessary for setting up high-dollar cars inside of showrooms that don't exactly have traditional entry options.

    The video starts off showing the work required for the removal of an all-new XJ sedan from the showroom in order to make room for the C-X75. Once the concept car is in the showroom, the video switches to slow motion so you can fully enjoy the lines of the car.

    The cold hard facts

    (4) Electric motors good for 195 horsepower each, 780 total

    (2) Switched reluctance generators

    (2) 94 horsepower gas micro-turbines for range-extending capability

    Battery type: Lithium-ion

    Battery capacity: 19.6 kWh

    Single speed transmission with a 3.1:1 final drive ratio

    The performance cold hard facts

    Zero-to-100 km/h in 3.4 seconds, zero-to-100 mph in 5.5 seconds

    Top speed of 205 mph, or 330 km/h

    Zero to top speed in just 15.7 seconds

    Completes a quarter mile in 10.3 seconds at 251 km/h

    Max power of 780 horsepower and 1,180 lb-ft of torque

    Aerodynamic signature rating of .32 (cd)

    The green cold hard facts

    Initial pure-electric range (via plug-in charge) of 68 miles, 109 km

    Overall extended range via micro gas-turbines of 560 miles, 900 km

    C02 emissions of just 28 grams per kilometer, or 46 grams per mile

    50 percent of metal is recycled aluminum

    Total weight 2,970 lbs

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