Jaguar C-X75 Plug-In Supercar: Turbines For Track Only

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Jay Leno drives the Jaguar C-X75 Concept

Jay Leno drives the Jaguar C-X75 Concept

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You may recognize the Jaguar C-X75 supercar from the 2010 Paris Auto Show, where it wowed the critics and public alike.

You may also remember that the car was destined to be a plug-in, range-extended vehicle, the electric motors supplemented not by a regular gasoline engine, but by a series of microturbines.

Unfortunately, Inside Line reports (via Motor Authority) that although the car has been confirmed for launch in late 2013, the road-going versions won't use the turbine technology.

Instead, the production car will use a more conventional, turbocharged gasoline engine to provide the extra range.

Predictably, it was engineering problems that curtailed the development of the roadgoing jet-powered Jags.

Early testing has shown that the twin microturbines would have required excessive cooling - as much as 16.8 square feet of intakes, or more than the entire frontal area of the concept! That's a shame, as jet turbines are quite simple mechanically, and also each 77-pound turbine would allow the car to be lighter than if equipped with a standard engine. Jaguar, along with Blaydon Jets, is still developing the jet-powered C-X75 for track use only.

Not that the road car will have a "standard" engine. Developed together with Cosworth and the Williams F1 team, the 1.6-liter turbocharged unit could develop as much as 500 horsepower.

Coupled with a high-output electric drivetrain, the setup should make for an incredibly high-performance car, but one with the ability to cruise around city centers emissions-free.

Testing of prototype C-X75s is expected to commence in the middle of this year.

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