Last month, Wired reported on a new car in the article, “Jaguar Builds A Twin-Turbine Electric Supercar You Can’t Have.” I’m still not sure how I missed it. You’d be forgiven for not getting very excited at a twin-turbo car, and that’s probably how I read the article title, but it’s twin-turbine, not twin-turbo.
They made the CX75 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Jaguar, and it’s not meant as a preview of anything they’ll be building in the near future.
It uses an electric motor that delivers the equivalent of 195 horsepower. The interesting part is that is uses four of these motors … one on each wheel. The battery pack weighs 300 lbs and can take the car 68 miles on a charge. That would be quite limiting if this were a pure electric vehicle, but it’s not. Goodness, it’s not. If your trip is longer than 68 miles, they’ve thoughtfully included a pair gas turbines to recharge the battery pack. The gas turbines never directly power the wheels so it’s a pure serial hybrid. This is just as well because it avoids whatever transmission would be required to work with the 80,000 RPM gas turbine output shaft.
The combined output of the electric motors is 780 hp and 1180 lb-ft of torque, which will get the car from a standstill to 62 mph is 3.4 seconds. I wonder about the total mass of the vehicle because the Ferrari 599 GTO manages the same time with 110 fewer horsepower less than half the torque.
Still, gas turbines!
I was going to say that you can tell it’s a mid-engine configuration just by looking at it, but you’d be wrong. I’m not sure what they’d call the configuration that uses a motor on each wheel.
Even if it were produced for sale, the vast majority of us would never be able to afford it. I like that they’ve brought back the gas turbine, however. Used as a glorified battery charger, many of the disadvantages of using it to power a car disappear. And it sure would be nice to be able to use whatever fuel is the cheapest, even if it’s the tequila you never want to see again!
Photo courtesy of Jaguar, via Wired.