Remember the Jaguar that starred in Spectre, part of the James Bond series of films? The Jaguar C-X75 (named after the anniversary of the company) never made it to production even though it was a leading light in new (at the time) plugin hybrid propulsion systems – that concept ended up reaching the market via Ferrari with their LaFerrari and track based FXX-K models.
The C-X75 was designed in conjunction with Williams Advanced Engineering, part of the Williams F1 group, back in the early 2000s – it was finally unveiled in 2010. That’s nearly a decade ago and the packaging of the propulsion concept still hasn’t reached the market yet – other than the Ferraris and a couple of other high end hyper-cars from Porsche and McLaren.
The C-X75 used a plug-in parallel hybrid electric system with an electric motor fitted to each axle, making it an all-wheel-drive. These motors pumped out an equivalent of about 195hp per axle, therefore totalling 390hp. That would be a great power output for a lightweight 2-seater sports car, however Jaguar’s relationship with Williams Advanced Engineering provided another power source.
Williams took the F1 experience from their race team and developed a 1.6 litre four cylinder, petrol fuelled engine, capable of spinning at 10,000 rpm. It also used a twin-cam 16-valve configuration with an all-aluminium structure. Thanks to using a turbocharger and an associated supercharger, it pumped out a further 500hp. For those with good long term memory will remember that Williams once ran a similar sized turbocharged 1.5 litre BMW motor in F1. The supercharger is used to increase low engine speed power and torque, whilst the turbocharger gives the power and torque at the higher revolutions. At normal road speeds, the supercharger is used up to around 5,500 rpm when it disengages and the turbo is used on its own. By this stage the turbo has spooled up to speed and is useful – this takes care of the lag found in turbo systems.
Combined, there is a theoretical 890hp on tap with 1,000Nm of torque – the amount of pulling power available. As the car was a full carbon fibre tub that power and torque was capable of hitting 160km/h in under six seconds and also delivers a stunning aural soundtrack:
The motor also uses direct and indirect fuel injection with the engine management system managing the power requirements, for example, the direct injection is the primary system however when power is needed, the indirect system is added in to push as much fuel/air mix into the cylinders as possible.
Only seven cars were built with four being used for film stunts in Spectre and the stunt cars used a traditional five litre supercharged V8 instead of the original concept’s hybrid systems. The work with Williams Advanced Engineering on the 1.6 litre motor was actually an evolution of the first prototype. That car had two diesel powered micro-turbines to charge the low slung batteries in the car powering an electric motor in each wheel hub. That first concept was probably a basis for the later electric cars like the i-Pace.
Sadly, the C-X75 never made it into volume production, however many of the ideas and concepts that were developed for the original concept are now being seen on the current road cars and the Formula E race car.
Image and video created and owned by Jaguar Cars Ltd.