When Jaguar launches the futuristic C-X75 supercar, at least a handful of models will employ range-extending jet-turbine engines, as was promised when the car debuted as a concept at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Jaguar Land Rover parent company Tata Motors recently formalized an agreement to have U.K.-based Bladon Jets build jet turbines for the Jaguar C-X75.
The new engineering center in Coventry, U.K., employs 15 people and was formally opened last week by Tata chairman Ratan Tata. Bladon Jets is developing a range of miniature turbine engines, the fan blades of which can be built with a tolerance of less than one-twentieth the width of a human hair. Among the company's projects are jet turbine engines for Jaguar.
The Jaguar C-X75 is essentially a plug-in hybrid that uses four electric motors for propulsion, one at each wheel. The car's battery pack is can be recharged by plugging in to a wall outlet, or by a pair of microturbine engines that act as range extenders. According to Auto Express, each engine weighs about 77 pounds and produces 95 hp. Jaguar says the C-X75 will be able to reach 60 mph in less than three seconds, and drive for up to 31 miles on electric power alone.
Jaguar announced in May 2011 that it would build 250 examples of the C-X75, each costing the equivalent of $1.1 million or more. The cars will be built in the U.K. on a carbon-fiber chassis in partnership with the Williams Formula 1 team.
Despite Tata's investment in Bladon Jets, Auto Express says only a few copies of the Jaguar supercar will use jet turbine engines. The remainder will reportedly use turbocharged four-cylinder engines designed by Williams F1. Expect the C-X75 to make its road-going debut by 2015.
Sources: Auto Express, Bladon Jets