Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Power Transportation Hardware

Jaguar's Hybrid Jet-Powered Concept Car 334

Posted by kdawson
from the do-want dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Jaguar has developed a hybrid car that runs on gas turbines. The range extended vehicle usually uses four electric motors (one on each wheel) plus a lithium-ion battery pack for propulsion, but can achieve a performance boost from a pair of gas turbines mounted in the rear. Cnet UK reports the car can do 0-60 mph in 3.4 sec. (and 50-90 mph in 2.3 sec.) and reach 205 mph while emitting less CO2 than a Toyota Prius."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Jaguar's Hybrid Jet-Powered Concept Car

Comments Filter:
  • Should be reliable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 91degrees (207121) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:44AM (#33756852) Journal
    This thing has a dozen or so moving parts. Granted, the turbines move pretty damn fast but electric motors and generators are extremely reliable. Four indepenent motors and two turbines menas we have redundancy on top of that.

    I'm a little suspicious of the emission claims though. How much of that is from plugin? I can't imagine turbine->electric->battery->motors is an efficient drive train.
    • now all we need are options for machine guns and spike throwers. Having each wheel with its own motor makes for some good safety enhancements but how are they handling the weight of motors at wheels?

      Hopefully within three to five years more and more range extenders will become available, I just want it in a form other than sedan or sports car; read: cuv/suv

    • I can't imagine turbine->electric->battery->motors is an efficient drive train.

      Sounds way more efficient to me than a normal combustion engined and gearbox drive-train.

      Then again, I'm not an engineer, but from the little I know it sounds very likely. I think normal petrol engines are less than 50% efficient, while turbines are very high.

      • Ah. After some research I see that turbines seem to be around 40% efficient while diesel engines can be over 50%. I think the turbine efficiency was for converting heat to kinetic energy though which may not be a fair comparison for converting chemical energy to kinetic..

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Ah. After some research I see that turbines seem to be around 40% efficient while diesel engines can be over 50%.

          Can be over 50%? The most efficient ICE in the world is a container ship diesel engine which IS 50% efficient. It has cylinders so big you can walk around in them. In practice, you're not going to see any diesel ICE over about 30% that can be crammed into a car. Over 60% of cars offered in the US, anyway, are offered without a manual transmission option; indeed, my 1982 MBZ 300SD was only offered with an automatic, and it has a somewhat anemic 120hp/170ft-lb 3 liter turbo-diesel. It makes torque real low, s

          • by Pharmboy (216950)

            Automatic transmissions are not the power sappers of the past. Most modern cars get mileage ratings only 1mpg lower with an auto, and that is considering 'perfect' shifting with the manual. In practice, they are likely close to being on par for city driving, as the automatics are all computer controlled for efficiency now. Lots of automatics have locking transmissions for highway driving, which means the mpg should be pretty much the same. The differences are just very minimal nowadays, at least on an e

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              Automatic transmissions are not the power sappers of the past. Most modern cars get mileage ratings only 1mpg lower with an auto, and that is considering 'perfect' shifting with the manual.

              That is also considering 'perfect' driving with the auto transmission, which people do not do.

              Lots of automatics have locking transmissions for highway driving, which means the mpg should be pretty much the same.

              Locking torque converters have been standard since the 80s or 90s, some cars had them sooner. They unlock during acceleration and deceleration (beyond a certain point) and they don't lock at all at low speeds. EPA mileage estimates are just not interesting. I don't really want to know what they do on perfectly formulated fuel, in top condition, in laboratory conditions.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Pharmboy (216950)

                They revamped the EPA methodology a few years ago, which pushed the ratings down for most cars, so it is a bit more accurate. And locking transmissions only affect highway mileage was my point. Yes, they have been around for two decades, but not on all cars. They are much more common now. The main point is that the difference in actual MPG between an automatic and a manual transmission, assuming the same driver and roads, is much smaller than it used to be two decades ago, and in some cases there is vir

          • Ah, I was pretty sure that car engines were around 30-40%, should have paid more attention when I was reading that 50% figure as it does mention ships. I read "low speed" and just assumed it was for small cars, bleh.

            The torque you get with diesel engines certainly is fun if you're only driving around town, but at the moment I prefer having the rev range for driving on country roads. My next car will either have a turbo or a larger displacement so that I can get both.. an electric vehicle would be even bette

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              The torque you get with diesel engines certainly is fun if you're only driving around town, but at the moment I prefer having the rev range for driving on country roads.

              Well, my Mercedes redlines at 4700 and my Ford at 3500... so while they sure don't have the Rs of some dinky gas motor, they get well up there. The Mercedes has an inline five cylinder so it's butter smooth even at the limiter, and the slush box will run right up there with it, too. It turns out that with proper gearing, it's more fun to have a bunch of torque than a bunch of horsepower. My truck jumps up out of the hole as fast as the tires will permit. The Mercedes is slow but you get to whip it around th

              • My little Fabia vRS has a 6 speed gearbox and an intercooler (though in a crappy position where it tends to heat up - you can get conversion kits to mount it on the front rather than the side), plus I had the ECU remapped for more aggressive use of the turbo.

                My MR2 definitely edges it out in straight line speed because of the extra rev range and aerodynamics though, and it would even take it in the corners due to being much lower and having much stiffer suspension. Getting a V6 conversion isn't too expensiv

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      gas turbines are more efficient than petrol or diesel or engines, as the joule cycle is more thermodynamically ideal. The only problem is they prefer to operate at a continuous power output. Rover tried doing this in the 30's with Whittle's jet, but that was a disaster, the advances in electrical drive trains may have fixed this. still its pretty cool.
      • by sadtrev (61519) on Friday October 01, 2010 @05:19AM (#33756980) Homepage
        The Rover gas-turbine [blueyonder.co.uk] car was almost ready for launch (in the mid-'60s). It was cleaner, quieter and potentially cheaper than cars with conventional reciprocating engine designs.
        It did have two major disadvantages - unreliability due to brittleness of the heat exchanger, and
        - the tendency to singe the paint off cars that approached too close to the exhaust.
        • by CyberDragon777 (1573387) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .777nogardrebyc.> on Friday October 01, 2010 @05:26AM (#33757008)

          the tendency to singe the paint off cars that approached too close to the exhaust.

          A car that automatically enforces the proper following distance? I want one!

    • by Adrian Harvey (6578) on Friday October 01, 2010 @05:15AM (#33756960)

      I'm a little suspicious of the emission claims though. How much of that is from plugin? I can't imagine turbine->electric->battery->motors is an efficient drive train.

      Turbo-electric (ie: turbine->electric->motors) are quite efficent, and commonly used in large equipment, like boats and trains (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbo-electric [wikipedia.org])

      The difficulties here will be
      1. how efficent the battery is, and how much the battery is used verses running in direct turbo-electric mode.
      2. How well the turbine has been scaled down. Turbines get harder to make efficent the smaller they are - efficency is quite dependent on things like the ratio of the gap at the edge of the blades to the blade area. Small turbines need a lot more precision manufacturing to make properly efficent. A good single-cycle gas turbine such as this one: http://www.geoilandgas.com/businesses/ge_oilandgas/en/literature/en/downloads/LM6000.pdf [geoilandgas.com] can get 42% efficency, but small models often languish at 25% or so. [NB: combined cycle can get you as high as 60% but I will be *very* surprised if they've crammed that into a car... though they did say 2 turbines....]

      All the same, I still want one!

      • Average efficiency of the internal combustion engine averages 18% [wikipedia.org]

        Your lowest efficiency single cycle gas turbine is already a 72% improvement. That's pretty awesome.
      • by ptbarnett (159784)

        How well the turbine has been scaled down. Turbines get harder to make efficent the smaller they are - efficency is quite dependent on things like the ratio of the gap at the edge of the blades to the blade area. Small turbines need a lot more precision manufacturing to make properly efficent.

        Looks like the gas turbines used by Jaguar were supplied by Bladon Jets:

        http://www.bladonjets.com/news/jaguar-c-x75_-_electric-super-car-powered-by-jet-engines/ [bladonjets.com]

        More information is available at the website. I haven't had a chance to read through all of it.

    • by AikonMGB (1013995)

      It's a hell of a lot more efficient than piston->electric->battery->motors. Also, if designed well, then if the turbines were running, they would power the electric motor demand directly, and using any excess power generation to top up the batteries.

      Aikon-

    • by SharpFang (651121)

      My best bet is it can't reach 205 mph while emitting less CO2 than a Toyota Prius. It's either-or, nice clean drive switchable to "dirty" monster boost on demand.

      • by rschwa (89030)

        Well, considering the Prius would probably need a couple of JATO bottles to reach 205 mph, I bet this thing still wins.

        • by SharpFang (651121)

          Depends on metrics.

          Prius was designed to be affordable, and there aren't not many roads where such speed is usable.

          Also, -what- is the emission while running on the turbines directly? The electric drive may be more efficient but still carbon emission occurs while on "dirty drive" and I don't know which engine is more "dirty".

          No wonder a newer, more expensive car "wins"...

    • I can't imagine turbine->electric->battery->motors is an efficient drive train.

      Internal combustion engines have their own efficiency deficit turning reciprocating motion into rotating motion; an enormous amount of energy is wasted in at the crankshaft. Wankel-type engines attempted to solve this problem but were never able to overcome the difficulties in machining the odd shapes to a high enough precision at a low enough cost.

  • by elh_inny (557966) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:46AM (#33756860) Homepage Journal

    THe 'early adopters' in car's world, the afficcinados, like Jeremy Clarkson will not go for a boring hybrid unless it gives them better thrill than a conventional gas guzzling supercar.
    If this car is really fun to drive, it will be in demand, the markup on luxury is usually quite high, which means there's budget to develop something more mainstream with similar tech...

    • by RogueyWon (735973) on Friday October 01, 2010 @05:05AM (#33756924) Journal

      It's funny how developments that reduce the environmental impact of cars often originate from the high-performance end of the spectrum. While I'm no expert, my understanding is that sports such as Formula 1 and Indycar have done massive amounts to improve the fuel efficiency of the cars you see on the roads every day. After all, there's a clear and direct incentive when you have a high performance car out on the track to design something that can carry a smaller (and lighter) fuel tank or get away with fewer refuelling stops. And once you've developed that technology, you might as well make good use of it on a commercial basis.

      • Efficiency is the key. Further for less is what it's all about.

        I especially like this "Can run on any hydrocarbon" design. Everything from LPG to Rapeseed are viable to power this thing.
        • Years ago my dad did something like that with a commer camper van in Yugoslavia. The commer has a hatch between the two front seats which you can lift up to work on the engine. The carby had a press on cap which you can lift off so you can pour fuel into the engine from the driving seat if you like.

          Out of fuel and with no local currency left dad says Michael, get the tank from the stove, hose and all. Michael gets the tank and dad pokes the hose down down the carburettor. I open the tap on the tank and dive

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        Yep. That was the point of F1's new "no refuelling" rule this year - fuel efficiency suddenly went right up the list of priorities.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by GameboyRMH (1153867)

        Actually there's nothing "funny" or ironic about it at all (I hate it when people say things like that). In most cases technologies that can make a car perform better, often with no efficiency gain or even at the cost of efficiency, can make a car more efficient if applied differently. Even in areas like handling that would seem to have no application on the street. If you could take highway ramps at full highway speed you wouldn't have to waste a load of energy by slowing down - of course it wouldn't be co

      • by dmgxmichael (1219692) on Friday October 01, 2010 @11:19AM (#33760472) Homepage

        I've always thought that NASCAR in particular could reduce the thickness of their rulebook considerably by putting the teams on a fuel allowance for the race. If the cars start going too fast to be safe, pull back the fuel they are allowed to get.

    • "Basically, all the normal concept car goodies are here, which is a good thing because Jaguar has no plans to build this car."
      • by dave420 (699308)
        The car != the powertrain. I'm sure we've not heard the last of this sort of thing in a car.
        • I really hope you're right - I love the concept and would love to see widespread, affordable implementation.

          If it does make it out of the performance/concept arena, the first place we're likely to see this technology is in Land Rovers (same company) especially given the simplicity & robustness of the design, and that it can essentially use any fuel - perfect for wilderness vehicles.

    • by julesh (229690)

      THe 'early adopters' in car's world, the afficcinados, like Jeremy Clarkson will not go for a boring hybrid unless it gives them better thrill than a conventional gas guzzling supercar.

      It's well known that Clarkson will recommend any car Jaguar produces. He's like their biggest fan or something.

  • The summary left out the following important words before quoting performance figures: "Jaguar believes..."

  • Really... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cornwallis (1188489) on Friday October 01, 2010 @04:53AM (#33756874)

    "Jaguar has developed a hybrid car that runs on gas turbines."

    How many miles-per-gas-turbine does it get and how many gas turbines are needed to fill the tank?

    • Good laugh. For anyone actually looking for some answers though, the article doesn't say anything about its actual fuel efficiency. It has a ~16 gallon tank that runs on diesel, natural gas, biofuels, and liquid petroleum (o.o;;). I am not sold on it being particularly eco-friendly, despite the nice fuel compatibility.

      • Agreed! I remember when Chrysler tested a turbine car in the early 60s. It was VERY cool. I saw one drive into a parking garage in Detroit when I was little and thought that it was the future. Of course it was noisy as all get out, stunk, and according to the driver, not very efficient!

        • considering this is a JAAGGGGG, if it is a saloon, it will be very civilized and quiet and small only of freshly cleaned leather. If it goes into an XK however, no amount of ear-protection will be enough :P

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by c6gunner (950153)

        For anyone actually looking for some answers though, the article doesn't say anything about its actual fuel efficiency.

        Um, yes it does. It says it'll get something like 66 miles on electric, and has a combined range of about 560 miles. Leaving aside the electric bit, that means you're getting roughly 500 miles for 16 gallons, or 31.25 miles per gallon. Assuming their figures are correct.

        • My little 1.4 Hyundai does 41 mpg! That's rubbish!

          Then again, my 1.4 Hyundai doesn't do 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, 205mph, or have twin gas turbine engines. That's pure awesome.
          • Well, if you do take into account the electric 66 miles is enough to get me to work and back. So my gas mileage would be infinity MPG with that car excepting longer trips. You can't really do an apples to apples comparison.
  • Cnet UK reports the car can do 0-60 mph in 3.4 sec. (and 50-90 mph in 2.3 sec.) and reach 205 mph while emitting less CO2 than a Toyota Prius."

    After reading the article I think what it actually means is that it can be driven in electric only mode at slower speeds and emssions lower than the Prius or let the gas turbines kick in for a lot of power, but you won't be getting 28g/km when you do this. What we don't have is a figure for emissions in sustained normal driving, which are probably going to be similar or worse than the Prius

    • Agreed (Score:3, Interesting)

      Gas turbines are powerful for their weight, but not exactly economical in fuel use. The power-to-weight ratio makes them suitable for aircraft, but for cars they are just a thirsty show-off.
      • Gas turbines are powerful for their weight, but not exactly economical in fuel use.

        A friend of mine was a tank commander in the US army. He complained about the reliability of the gas turbine engines in the M1 Abrams tanks. When they break down, oil gets into the turbine, and spews itself around.

        Over the radio, when your tank breaks down, you say, "I shit the bed."

        On the other hand, he was really impressed with the German Leopard tank. It just uses a turbo diesel engine, so it is not so sexy, but seems to get the job done.

      • by Alioth (221270)

        Turbines have been improving steadily over the years in BSFC (brake specific fuel consumption, in other words, how much fuel needs to flow to provide each bhp). The other thing about turbines is they like to be just run at constant speed, and with electric transmission you can do that (which you can't with a normal automatic or manual gearbox, and most CVTs can't take the power).

        TFA states:
        When you're being sensible with the accelerator pedal, it'll return a maximum range of 560 miles, while spewing a mere

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Power is not the obstacle for the CVT or any other transmission, because you can just build it bigger. It's speed. Chrysler built turbine-powered cars in the 1960s but they did it with a mechanical powertrain rather than an electrical one and the gearboxes wouldn't take the strain. Had they gone with a series hybrid design in the first place, with the generator integrated into their lovely little regenerating turbine, they might have solved this problem entirely.

    • by thijsh (910751)
      I've read that the C-X75 will drive 900 km on a 60 liter tank, that is 15 km/l (or 35 mpg) which is comparable to a normal European car.
      The figures for the lower emissions are probably only applicable for some specific cherry-picked short drive done mostly on the battery. But what surprises me is that they have managed to create a turbine hybrid that gives a lot of performance without becoming a gas-guzzler as you would expect. So for long-distance drives the car consumes fuel like any normal car (already
  • But is it monkey navigated?!

  • by bazorg (911295)
    Chrome finish for the wheels = FAIL.
  • ...if anything would've changed had Parnelli Jones not lost a ball bearing in 1967.

  • Looks like a Lambo and a Lotus had a baby, then added turbines.

    I will admit, having an electric motor dedicated to each wheel allows for some great control. With the physics of how electric motors typically work, you can also get crazy-huge horsepower & torque across nearly the whole range of the motor (assuming it's an induction motor). I can't imagine what the maintenance requirements/costs would be.

    However, if this car actually makes it into production, I'd bet it will go the way of the Tesla Roadste

    • by julesh (229690)

      However, if this car actually makes it into production [...] it might also get butchered (visually speaking) between concept and production (remember the Chevy Volt concept car?).

      I dunno, Jaguar produce some very nice looking cars. I don't see them going for a design that isn't truly beautiful if they do release a hybrid sports car.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday October 01, 2010 @06:23AM (#33757160) Homepage Journal

    In the 1960s Chrysler developed a turbine engine and drove a car across the country on it. They also had a test program with a limited group. Driving it was similar to a diesel, in that it had a startup procedure one had to follow, but it otherwise operated normally. It got significantly better mileage than cars of the day with excellent performance, but it killed gearboxes rapidly.

    More recently and more similarly to this project, Langford Performance Engineering of Wellingborough England modified the Ford S-Max seven seat crossover vehicle into a series hybrid plug in vehicle with a [capstone] C30 turbine [capstoneturbine.com], achieving over 80 mpg equivalent in early test driving. This made it a series hybrid like the upcoming Chevy Volt, but more efficient.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dpilot (134227)

      I remember hearing about some of the problems with this, and another. A turbine also happens to be wonderful gyroscope, so Chrysler's Turbine Car (I remember seeing the TV commercials as a kid.) had an embedded gyroscope which interfered somewhat with steering. Obviously arranging the axis of the turbine correctly can take care of this, but might make it more difficult to extract power from the engine. When I heard that this new car had 2 turbines, especially after reading about the difficulty of scaling

      • You could build a single turbine with counter rotating blades geared together to a single shaft which would counteract the gyro effect. When the turbine drives a generator (which could be build on the same shaft as the turbine so no gear box is needed) things get simple since the turbine can now run at a constant speed (something it can't do when connected to a tranny to drive the wheels directly). Also the high temperatures reached in the combustion in a turbine allow the fuel to always be completly burn

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      A plain gas turbine driving a land vehicle is impractical due to turbo lag. Gas turbines respond too slowly for throttle settings. Everyone knows about the turbo lag in the turbo-supercharged gas/diesel engines. Jay Leno has a motorcycle made from an Airforce surplus helicopter gas turbine engine. That thing runs so smoothly with nary a vibration, you would not know the machine is running unless you stand on the exhaust path. But he was saying, "There is a 0.5 sec turbo lag. You twist the throttle, the mac
  • Dammit!

    That is all.

    Dave

  • Really Jaguar is just copying this guy here with his jet turbine powered VW Beetle [ronpatrickstuff.com]
  • Jaguar was bought by the Indian company TATA, famous for its Tata-Nano car, also known as a scooter with a sheet metal bubble! May be they will merge these two technologies and attach the gas turbine to Nano! Or they can just pack a TataNano in the trunk (boot for you Brits) as a spare vehicle instead of a spare tire. The possibilities are endless!

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

Working...