Jaguar unveils stunning C-X75 concept four-wheel drive electric supercar
Like Peugeot, which has unveiled its EX1 concept electric vehicle as part of the company’s 200th anniversary celebrations, Jaguar is celebrating its 75 years with an equally, if not even more, stunning concept electric supercar. Unveiled today at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, the C-X75 boasts some impressive performance stats that prove this is no mere show pony. Powered by four 145kW electric motors – one on each wheel – producing 780bhp and a total torque output of 1600Nm (1180lb ft), the C-X75 can accelerate from 0-100km/h (62mph) in just 3.4 seconds, and from 80-145km/h (50-90mph) in 2.3 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 330km/h (205mph).
While the C-X75 is capable of running for 110km (68 miles) in purely electric mode on a six-hour domestic plug-in charge, two lightweight (35kg/77lb) micro gas-turbines, spinning at 80,000 rpm, can generate enough electricity to quickly and efficiently recharge the vehicle’s lithium-ion batteries and extend its range to 900km (560 miles). The company says the miniaturized turbine blade, developed in partnership with Bladon Jets, increases the compression and efficiency of micro-gas turbines to the point at which they can be viewed as a realistic power source. Each of the micro gas-turbines produces 70kW of power at a constant 80,000rpm and produces 28 grams (0.98oz) of CO2 per kilometer (0.62 miles).
The energy created by the turbines and stored in the batteries is transmitted to the road using four independent electric motors, which provides benefits in terms of weight-saving and distribution, packaging and efficiency. Each motor weighs just 50kg (110lb) but produces 145kW (195bhp) of power and a combined total torque output of 1600Nm (1180lb ft).
A motor on each wheel naturally means four-wheel drive and, according to Jaguar, this drivetrain also includes the ability to independently vector torque to each wheel across the full speed range, offering improved stability and control and creating an infinitely and instantaneously adjustable traction and stability control system.
As in a single-seater racing car, the seats are attached to the bulkhead and cannot be moved to ensure that air being passed to the turbines passes smoothly around them via channels in the structure of the body, so the steering wheel, controls, main binnacle and pedal box all adjust towards the driver. A newly-designed high TFT touchscreen display, dubbed the Jaguar Co-Pilot, is located in the center console is used to manage vehicle information, while the main driver information screen housed within the instrument binnacle includes the status and rpm of the two gas-turbines.
Exterior and aerodynamics
Finished in Jetstream silver, the C-X75 features an extruded and bonded aluminum chassis clad in panels of the same material, which not only reduce weight but are also easily recyclable. Jaguar says the car is shorter and lower than the current crop of supercars thanks to the absence of a conventional piston engine, with a central fuselage surrounded by prominent wheel arches. For inspiration, the designers drew from the XJ13 LeMans prototype from late designer Malcolm Sayer and increased the design’s aerodynamic efficiency by opening the front grille and brake cooling vents only when necessary. At the rear corners of the car vertical control surfaces automatically engage at higher speeds to direct airflow to the back of the rear wheels for increased stability and efficiency.
The carbon-fiber rear diffuser that is crucial in guiding airflow under the car and creating downforce, includes an active aerofoil, which is lowered automatically as speed increases. Additionally, vanes in the exhaust ports alter the flow of gases under the car to further increase the effectiveness of the Venturi tunnel.
Ralf Speth, Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover, says, “The C-X75 demonstrates that Jaguar is still leading the field automotive design and technology. And will always continue to build beautiful, fast cars." Just looking at the car it is hard to disagree.