The Amazing Jaguar C-X75 Concept Hybrid uses gas turbines rather than a piston engine to recharge batteries

by | Oct 1, 2010 11:55 AM ET

The Jaguar C-X75 Concept is gorgeous to look at, and it is also innovative. It is a plug-in hybrid car with a twist. Instead of using a piston engine to recharge the batteries like the Prius or the Chevy Volt, it is using gas turbine engines (jet engines) instead. These should be much smaller and lighter than piston engines, and could in theory be more efficient. The engines are developed by Bladon Jets and can be seen here:

According to Bladon Jets, one key advantage of their gas turbine engine design is this: "5% size, weight & parts of equivalent piston engine
". They are also claiming:

  • High performance and efficiency

  • Low emissions

  • Low noise & no vibration

  • Low manufacturing costs
  • High reliability & low maintenance costs

That tiny engine produces 94 horsepower at 80,000 RPM, and the C-X75 uses two to recharge the batteries.

This is not the first car to use a jet engine. Chrysler tried it in the 1960s:

The engine they used was huge, and it had to change its operating speed as the car accelerated and stopped.

The Capstone Microturbine car is using an approach similar to Jaguar's: A new way to build hybrid vehicles – How the Capstone Microturbine Car Works

The new gas turbines make more sense in hybrid cars because they are incredibly small and they can run at a fixed RPM where they are most efficient. All they do is spin a generator to recharge the batteries.

The batteries connect to 4 electric motors creating a maximum of 780 horsepower. Like the Porsche Spyder hybrid the C-X75 can use both generator power and battery together for maximum speed.

This article gives some quick stats:

  • weight: 2,970 pounds
  • O-62 MPH: 3.4 seconds
  • 780 horsepower from four electric motors
  • Top speed: 205 MPH
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Range: 68 miles on batteries along, 560 miles on a tank of gas.

More info:

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