Jaguar has released a new concept two-seater car called the C-X75. I am not a big fan of the style though. As one reader at Jalopnik.com remarked, it does remind one of an “open mouthed catfish on wheels”.
Here are some specs. for this coupe. Peak power = 780 bhp; 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) =3.4 s; 1/4 mile (0.4 km) = 10.3 s; Top speed = 208 mph (335 kph); total torque at wheels = 1187 ft-lb (1610 Nm).
This super car is powered by 4 electric motors, one at each wheel, each one rated at 195 hp. It is equipped with a lithium ion battery pack that can carry it 68 miles (110 km) on a full charge. But, fortunately, the design engineers packed 2 gas turbine engines (94 hp each), stationed right behind the cabin, to charge up the batteries or provide direct power to motors, extending the total range to 560 miles (900 km).
The gas turbines can run on gasoline, diesel, biofuel or LPG. This is the right way to go for electric cars. Unlike hybrids, which rely on braking power-to-electricity conversion for battery charging, or fully electric vehicles which can load up the electric grids, a battery pack charged from a gas turbine-generator combination is a much better option. The gas turbines allow the use of a variety of fuels, with little or no modifications. Gas turbines are for that reason more versatile than internal combustion engines. A gasoline IC engine cannot run on diesel and vice versa, whereas a gas turbine can, with proper fuel injectors, manage just about any liquid fuel with similar energy content (kerosene, jet fuel, gasoline, diesel, biodiesel, ethanol, etc.). Thus, a turbine engine-generator powered electric vehicle could run on biofuels and be environmentally friendly. Of course the higher price of gas turbines as compared to IC engines could be a big deciding factor in the choice of on-board power plants. But the cost of gas turbines can be brought low with the right supply&demand market forces.
The upcoming Chevy Volt also has a similar concept as the Jaguar C-X75. The $41,000 Volt will have a 16 kWhr Li-ion battery pack, which however only gives it a 40 mile range. But, its gasoline IC engine extends that range to 300 miles.
Here are some links to articles on the C-X75.
Endgadget.com (video + photos)
NY Times (photos)
Popular Science (photos)
Jalopnik.com (video + photos)