Jaguar Unveils the C-X75 PHEV Supercar (With 4 Electric Motors and 2 Gas Micro-Turbines)

jaguar Cx75 photo
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Sexy Beast: 205 MPH Top Speed, 68 Miles Electric Range

Car makers, especially those who specialize in sporty or luxury vehicles, have a long tradition of making super-car concepts for motor shows. Sometimes they later end up in production, but most of the time bits and pieces are recycled into different, more watered-down models. Jaguar has unveiled just such a beast, and - at least on paper - it has pretty decent green potential. Read on for more photos and details.

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Under the Hood of the Jaguar C-X75

The C-X75 is a plug-in series hybrid, a bit like the Chevy Volt. But unlike the Volt, it has 4 electric motors, providing all-wheel drive, and when the battery is drained, it doesn't get recharged by a conventional gasoline engine. Rather, it uses twin micro-turbines, each generating 70 kW by spinning at 80,000 rpm.

The C-X75 has a drag coefficient of 0.32 Cd.

jaguar Cx75 photo

Power and Top Speed

The four electric motors produce 145 kW (195 bhp) and 400 N·m (295 lb-ft) each, for a total power of 580 kW/780 bhp. Top speed is 330 km/h (205 mph), acceleration from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) is achieved in 3.4 seconds, and from 80-145 km/h (50-90 mph) in 2.3 seconds.

"The mid-mounted 70 kW (94 bhp) micro gas-turbines can generate a combined 140 kW (188 bhp) to charge the batteries and extend the range of the car to 900 km (560 miles)--or, when in Track mode, provide supplementary power directly to the electric motors. The four electric motors provide torque-vectored, all-wheel drive traction and grip, which Jaguar deems essential in a car that produces 1,600 N·m (1,180 lb-ft) of torque." (source)

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What Makes It Green (Kind of, Depending...)

All this power seems overkill, and I'd much rather see a car that looks just as good but is less powerful, lighter, and gets a longer electric range and then gets better fuel economy once the battery is drained.

But still, the Jaguar C-X75 has an electric range of 110 kilometers (68 miles). Since the average American rarely drives more than 40 miles in a day, and that number is probably lower for Europeans, this means that if this supercar was plugged in every night, it could conceivably be greener (at least when it comes to usage) than a much less powerful car like a Honda Fit or whatever.

All of this is theoretical. The C-X75 might never reach production, and if it does, it would probably stay a small-volume model. But if this design project has helped Jaguar engineers to get familiar with series hybrids and electric cars, and to develop new technologies that can push the field forward, then it'll be worth it. I'd rather see automotive engineers work on these kinds of things than ever larger V8s like in the 1990s and early 2000s.

jaguar Cx75 photo