Cutting emissions: Supercar style
There has been a sizable push in recent years to produce environmentally sound cars for everyday use, and whereas just the odd manufacturer used to offer their vision of such a vehicle, most mainstream marques now have something to show the world, except in one area of the market.
Supercars and sports cars are right up there amongst the desires of most petrol heads and many who can afford such dream machines won’t particularly be interested in adding a hybrid or an electric example to their no-doubt spectacular fleet.
However, with more and more legislation coming in from various government groups around the globe, supercar and sports car manufacturers are having to take notice of those creating environmentally focused vehicles and having a think of how they could incorporate such technologies in their own creations.
Jaguar has been one such company with a keen eye to bring down their emissions and for a few years now have been developing a car created through substantially original and spectacular technology – as opposed to just sticking in a standard diesel engine.
Known as the C-X75, Jaguar’s grand scheme is to produce a one off supercar packed with ingenious design cues that will revolutionize the market of hybrid cars.
As with any hybrid car, looking at the motor first shows how it is presented in an environmental way. With the C-X75, there are two electric motors, one to power the front axle and the other to power the rear – both via separate gearboxes. This being in a supercar, however, the motors are obviously are a little different to those that you might find in a Toyota Prius and in fact have three times the density of conventional equivalents.
These alone, of course, are not powerful enough to give the car its full strength and for that it relies on a unique 1.6 litre four-cylinder engine that is, wait for it, both turbocharged and supercharged to give a power output of something over 500bhp.
Combined with the two electric motors, the C-X75 will get from 0-62mph in around 3sec and to 100mph in 6sec, which is pretty phenomenal for a car that will emit under 100g/km of CO2.
The Jaguar does give the option to run on the electric motors alone, but will only run for about 37.5 miles before being forced to have the petrol engine kick in. To make the car as light as possible, Jaguar have teamed up with Formula 1 veterans Williams to take advantage of their carbon fibre expertise, as well as to get the most from the management of the electric motors and corresponding KERS technology.
It’s not just the British firm trying new concepts, European compatriots Porsche have been out testing their soon to be released 918 Hybrid which features a similar layout in terms of the engine. However, in this case, its KERS based motor adds over 200bhp to an already potent V8 engine that delivers over 500bhp itself, bringing the total power to something around the 800 mark.
Ferrari’s next hypercar is thought to have a rechargeable KERS battery unit on board and will take the prize for top power figures with the potential for 1000bhp on tap.
Cars such of these will not come cheap and the Jaguar will cost around £800,000 for one of an exclusive run of just 200 examples and the Porsche will come in at about the same number. Regardless, it is encouraging to see such progress in this area of the market towards a more environmental stance and turning around their reputation being gas guzzling machines.
About the author: Sam Bisby writes for European Diesel Card fuel card services .
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