Jaguar C-X75 cancelled


Jaguar has been on a bit of a high of late, and one likely to continue with the arrival of the much anticipated F-Type. But the C-X75 won't be joining it. As reported widely today, not least by our colleagues at Autocar, the radical and rather beautiful turbine-powered hybrid supercar is simply too much for the prevailing economic climate.

Three of the five built will be sold - tempted?
Three of the five built will be sold - tempted?
Which is a shame, because there was much to admire about the concept, not least its looks. But also the technology. While others, notably Porsche with the 918 Spyder, try and combine existing technology with electric tech to answer the cry for new-age hybrid supercars Jaguar's turbine technology was genuinely something different. And had been much admired as such, scooping awards including 'Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2011' from the North American Concept Vehicle awards and a Louis Vuitton 'Classic Concept' gong too.

Perhaps burned by the experience of the XJ220 Jaguar has decided to put the investment required into the C-X75 into other areas, though you can be sure the money already spent won't have gone to waste as the move to hybridisation gathers momentum.

And what of the five prototypes? Three of them will apparently be auctioned off. Form an orderly queue...

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (146) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Max_Torque 16 Dec 2012

    CraigyMc said:
    Max_Torque said:
    Ok, i'm going to try to say this in the simplest way i know how:
    A gas turbine engine cannot ever be as efficient as a reciprocting piston engine in terms of converting fuel energy to useful work.
    That must be why the country has so many large reciprocating piston engined powerplants.

    Oh wait, there aren't any.

    C
    Ok, i'm going to try one last time ;-)

    Please go and look up "surface area to volume ratio" on Wiki or something similar. When you have understood the concepts contained, then you should have a good understanding why a turbine (be that internal or external combustion, i.e. gas turbine / steam turbine) is a good solution for power generation in the MW region, but not in the kW region.

    Add in the fact that heat capture, via recuporators (or condensors for their steam brethren) can easily be packaged for a static large scale power generation system (try mounting a cooling tower on your roofrack for example ;-) and the fact that for power generation, high currents are to be avoided (I2R losses) so high voltage is good, and you want 50Hz AC, so the output shaft speeds of an ultra large reciprocating piston engine (~120rpm) are too low for any practically wound generator.

    Finally, until now, the fuel for large scale generation has been cheap, coal, gas, and even oil. The bigger costs are the installation and running costs, where a turbine based plant scores again. But, with the prices for all fossil fuels on the increase, this is going to change, and efficiency will be the new watch word for power generation.

    However, this still has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that for low power small scale generation, a gas turbine ISN'T as efficient as a reciprocation IC engine. Which i think, is where i came in ;-)

    It also is an interesting excercise to calculate (or estimate) the "round trip" power losses for a series architecture Range extender powertrain (which a turbine has to be as it cannot drive the wheels directly). Hint, every energy conversion stage has a power loss, so the primary conversion (chemical fuel to work) needs to be efficient as possible to avoid the effects of the law of ever diminising returns.

  • Scuffers 16 Dec 2012

    CraigyMc said:
    That must be why the country has so many large reciprocating piston engined powerplants.

    Oh wait, there aren't any.

    C
    That's an economic argument, not an efficiency one.

    To use the same argument, show me a container ship that's turbine ?

  • CraigyMc 16 Dec 2012

    Max_Torque said:
    Ok, i'm going to try to say this in the simplest way i know how:
    A gas turbine engine cannot ever be as efficient as a reciprocting piston engine in terms of converting fuel energy to useful work.
    That must be why the country has so many large reciprocating piston engined powerplants.

    Oh wait, there aren't any.

    C


  • Max_Torque 16 Dec 2012

    Finally: Battery system improvements pose the biggest risk to range extender and hybrid developments becuase something like a 100% improvement in energy storage would be enough to render a hybrid as un-necessary.

    The simplest technology, with the lowest cost, and most reliability is a pure electric car. It needs a traction motor, a gearbox, an inverter/PE, and a battery system. Only a few moving parts and gives very flexible packaging. If battery energy density increases to the point were a typical electric car can have a range of say ~300 miles range eztenders would be a dead end street for the vast majority of passenger car platforms.

    Compared to a hybrid or range extended platform, which is a hugely complicated undertaking, which a massive number of different systems than need to be co-developed and integrated. (Take a good long look at the shear number of components and systems required to make a Vauxhall Ampera/Chevy Volt actually work for example!)


    So, an OEM could spend easily £250M developing a turbine based RE system, and then find it is obsolete over night, when battery tech advances. Now, i'm not saying that battery tech is suddenly going to take a similary quantum leap in energy density, but given the worldwide focus on battery system development now underway, i wouldn't want to bet against it in say the next 5 to 10 years. Which is the sort of timescale that it will take to produce a viable volume production turbine based RE system.

  • Max_Torque 16 Dec 2012

    To be clear also:

    Current Off Highway emissions limits for Europe are nowhere near as draconian as the current passenger car tailpipe emissons limits. Industrial power generation limits are even higher than for Off Highway prime movers. No current turbine engine system for which i have pollutant figure for could even be started once during the NEDC cycle without exceeding the PE limits, let alone do any useful work during that cycle. We are talking about requiring a quantum leap in raw exhaust emission reduction to become viable for passenger car useage. (of course, this IS possible, as i mentioned above, but it will be expensive and time consuming to engineer, which is enough to put off the OEM's) (like JLR.........)




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