Well we weren’t expecting a Hybrid were we? Be honest, don’t get all smug on hindsight. We were so busy focusing on its looks, dynamics and price point that we paid too little attention to its powerplant, and despite its drop-dead gorgeous looks there’s far more to this new beauty than meets the eye.
Firstly, the C-X16 Concept is compact, rear-wheel drive, two-seater, underpinned by immensely strong aluminium architecture with perfect 50:50 weight distribution.
The aluminium bodywork is wrapped as closely to these mechanicals as possible and by stretching the main feature lines back from the focal point formed by the grille and pushing the wheels as far into the corners as possible, the car has a taut, poised‐for‐action stance that is unmistakeably Jaguar.
The front‐mounted supercharged V6 engine develops 375 bhp (280kW) and 332lb ft (450Nm) of torque from a capacity of 3.0‐litres. A modular development of the award‐winning Jaguar AJ‐V8, the all‐new powerplant points the way towards the next generation of highly efficient, petrol‐fuelled engines.
Already boasting a high specific power output of 126 PS-per-litre, the performance of the C-X16 is further supplemented by a Formula 1-inspired KERS hybrid boost system with a steering-wheel mounted ‘Push to Pass’ button which boosts output by 70 kW and 235 Nm. That’s a full 685 Nm of torque, which amounts to 56% more than the New 911 Carrera S.
The batteries allow the motor to provide this additional 94 bhp (70 kW) and 173 lb ft (235 Nm) for up to 10 seconds, at the press of a button.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yMuOoSElKE&w=635&h=391]
Because of the lag‐free nature of an electric motor, this power is instantaneously available. The battery is constantly and automatically recharged, with the entire system overseen by a Hybrid Vehicle Supervisory Controller.
Top speed, as you can imagine, is more than adequate which Jaguar quote as 186 mph, with 0-62 mph in 4.4 seconds and 50-75 mph acceleration in 2.1 seconds. If all that wasn’t impressive enough, the C-X16 emits just 165 g/km of CO2.
The purpose of this hybrid‐performance system is threefold: to supplement the V6 engine’s already prodigious power through an on‐demand ‘Push to Pass’ system; to reduce fuel consumption; and to allow the C‐X16 to perform as a zero tailpipe‐emissions electric vehicle at speeds of up to 50mph on low throttle openings.
The C‐X16 extends Jaguar’s recently-introduced stop/start functionality by linking it to a transmission‐integrated motor generator mounted as one unit with the eight-speed gearbox gearbox. This draws power from a 1.6kWh lithium‐ion battery pack mounted behind the seats for perfect weight distribution and is charged through a brake energy regeneration system.
As expected, the C-X16 is compact (approximately 5cm shorter than a 911), measuring 4,445 mm in length, 2,048 mm in width and 1,297 mm in height and has a wheelbase measuring 2,622 mm. In terms of overall length, the C-X16 is the smallest Jaguar created since 1954 and the XK120.
Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar Cars: “Jaguars have always been dramatically different. With the C-X16 we have moved the current award-winning design language on to the next generation, creating a car that is the very essence of future Jaguar performance.”
The C-X16 will be presented at the Jaguar Land Rover press conference at the Frankfurt Motor Show on Tuesday September 13, so if you’re planning on being there, make sure you check it out.