Jaguar supercar concept has jet turbines charging li-ion batteries to power four wheel-mounted electric motors

Jaguar supercar concept has jet turbines charging li-ion batteries to power four wheel-mounted electric motors

View 1 related image

Jaguar has unveiled an electric supercar concept, celebrating 75 years of the leaping car brand, that can reach 330km/h (205mph), sprint from rest to 100km/h (62mph) in just 3.4 seconds and accelerate from 80-145km/h (50-90mph) in just 2.3 seconds. The queue forms at the Paris motor show.

Four 145kW (195bhp) electric motors – one for each wheel - produce 780bhp and total torque output of 1600Nm (1180lb/ft). Using individual motors has benefits in terms of weight-saving and distribution, packaging and efficiency. Each motor weighs just 50kg.

Because each wheel is driven by its own electric motor, the C-X75 is four-wheel drive – with all the traction, grip and safety benefits that entails – without the weight disadvantages of a purely mechanical set-up. Inherent in this drivetrain is 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. 

Two micro gas-turbines, spinning at 80,000 rpm, can generate enough electricity to extend the range to 900km (560 miles) and emit only 28 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

Developed in partnership with Bladon Jets (in which Jaguar parent company Tata recently took a minority stake), the miniaturised 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, according to Jaguar. Each turbine weighs 35kg and produces 70kW at a constant 80,000rpm.

A zero tailpipe emissions range of 110km (68 miles) while running solely on lithium-ion battery power is possible.

“The C-X75 is everything a Jaguar should be. It possesses remarkable poise and grace yet at the same time has the excitement and potency of a true supercar. You could argue this is as close to a pure art form as a concept car can get and we believe it is a worthy homage to 75 years of iconic Jaguar design,” design director Ian Callum said.

In the cabin, the seats are fixed while the steering wheel, controls, main instrument binnacle and pedal box all adjust towards the driver. The seats are attached to the bulkhead as in a single-seater racing car, and air to feed the turbines passes around them via channels in the structure of the body.

A new interface for the driver has also been created for the C-X75 using high-resolution TFT screens. There is also a 'co-pilot display' in the centre console.

Designers combined designs from instrumentats in the latest production XJ with those from fighter aircraft to create virtual 3D ‘gimbals’ around which the gauges wrap and rotate to provide status updates.

Already expert in production cars using aluminium, Jaguar has given the C-X75 an extruded and bonded aluminium chassis clad in panels of the same material. Not only does this save weight, crucial in a car with extreme performance, but aluminium is one of the most easily recyclable metals available, boosting the C-X75’s sustainability as well as its speed.