It won't be faster but Jaguar says its forthcoming C-X75 hybrid supercar is more technically advanced than the Bugatti Veyron.
That’s the view of Adrian Hallmark, global brand manager for Jaguar, who was heavily involved in the development of the Veyron when he worked for the Volkswagen Group.
The C-X75 will be powered by a combination of an electric motor and a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine. Hallmark believes the car will set a new benchmark for supercars thanks to its technology.
"I actually think more," Hallmark said when asked if it would be as impressive as the Veyron. "And I’m not being arrogant because I know the project, I actually helped set up Bugatti from a sales, marketing, distribution and strategic planning perspective in my spare time; so I know a lot about the project and the company and the product itself.
"The engine [in C-X75] is far more challenging than the [quad turbo] W16 [in the Veyron]. The gearbox is more sophisticated than the Veyron, definitely. And then when you look at this motor and the battery technology we’ve created, the core classically engineered components are more complicated, then add to in an electric motor and the battery; and bring them all together. So the complexity is way higher and I think what we believe we can achieve, and what we’ve proven in theoretical bench terms, it that it will be an absolute breakthrough in engineering terms."
He revealed the electric motor weighs just 25kg but produces 400Nm of torque. He also said the battery pack consists of 300 cells and its own separate airconditioning system to maintain its temperature.
Hallmark said the petrol engine was as advanced as a racing engine. It is both supercharged and turbocharged and reportedly revs to 10,000rpm.
Despite its small capacity he confirmed it pumps out 373kW, which works out to 233kW per litre, which rules it out of being used in any other Jaguar model.
"To put it in perspective it’s somewhere between a formula one engine and a Le Mans Prototype in terms of specific output," he said. "So to put that into a durable form on the road you’d have to make it bigger capacity, take the revs down a lot and then you end up with a more conventional engine. We already have that, we put that into XF and XJ."
The C-X75 development team, which includes experts from the Williams grand prix team, will have five prototypes running by the end of the year to begin real world testing of the car, after four months of successful bench testing.
"It is so breakthrough, it is so leading edge we just don’t know what we’ll find," Hallmark said. "I know from my experience in my previous life, that a certain Bugatti Veyron took a year and a half longer than anybody thought purely because of thermal management. Which the guy that’s now running Bentley managed and did a brilliant job with. That was a piece of genius engineering, so is this. And you just never know until you start."
But although the C-X75 will be built in strictly limited numbers and cost more than $1.7 million, it will lead the way for more hybrid Jaguars - but only when buyers want them.
"We’re really serious about hybrids, yes," he said. "But at the moment customers aren’t. So we’re not going to offer something that no-one asks for. We are highly advanced in our research, I mean we are leading the way with both academic and supplier industries to find alternative powertrains."
Despite the technical challenges and costs associated with pioneering technologies Hallmark said he has no regrets.
"We could have put a big engine in and a little battery to give it a boost and say ‘we’ve done it’ but this is a true different approach’," he said.
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