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Jaguar's Hybrid Jet-Powered Concept Car 334

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."
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Jaguar's Hybrid Jet-Powered Concept Car

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  • by random string of num ( 1676550 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @06:03AM (#33756922)
    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 Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2010 @06:11AM (#33756946)

    No. I quote:

    "When you're being sensible with the accelerator pedal, it'll return a maximum range of 560 miles, while spewing a mere 28g/km of CO2"

    That does not appear to be electric mode only, since 560 miles would not be possible on electric only.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 01, 2010 @06:12AM (#33756952)

    The mpg from the turbines seem to be:

    560 range - 68 (electric) = ~ 500 mile range with a 60 litre tank = 8.3 miles per litre or around 40 mpg.

  • by Adrian Harvey ( 6578 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @06:15AM (#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 [])

    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: [] 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!

  • Re:Very Cool (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bert64 ( 520050 ) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Friday October 01, 2010 @06:28AM (#33757010) Homepage

    You will most likely have reduced performance, especially if the rest of the car has to spin the defective motor, but it should still run...

    When Jaguar were still producing V12 engines, it was quite common for people to not change the rear pair spark plugs (they are quite hard to reach because of the size of the v12 and the dimensions of the engine bay) so after a while they would be running on only 10 cylinders.

  • Re:Very Cool (Score:5, Informative)

    by c6gunner ( 950153 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @06:54AM (#33757076)

    Its awesome that it can run on diesel, biofuel, natural gas, or LP. I wonder if it can run on a combination, or if you can only have one type of fuel at a time.

    It's a jet turbine - you could mix all 4 and throw in some Tang for good measure, and it'll still run. Of course, you'll get decreased performance and some funky looking exhaust, but it'll run.

  • Re:Really... (Score:3, Informative)

    by c6gunner ( 950153 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @06:59AM (#33757090)

    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.

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Friday October 01, 2010 @07:23AM (#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 [], achieving over 80 mpg equivalent in early test driving. This made it a series hybrid like the upcoming Chevy Volt, but more efficient.

  • by BubbaDave ( 1352535 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @07:41AM (#33757220)


    That is all.


  • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @08:22AM (#33757432)
    Apologies, 28%. It's obvious what I got wrong.
  • by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @08:34AM (#33757504) Journal

    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 virtually no difference. Bank Rate [] has an article on it, and others do as well, showing the difference is usually minimal or non-existant.

  • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <> on Friday October 01, 2010 @09:09AM (#33757754) Journal

    Your post is sort of like saying that no NASA technologies make it into everyday life because we don't have space shuttles in our driveways.

    BTW some cars within a mere mortal's budget that have robotized manual gearboxes with auto rev matching include the Toyota MR-S and Mitsubishi Evo 10, just off the top of my head. Many Audis have it as well (Audi DSG system). The Nissan 370Z also has auto rev matching with a stick-shift manual.

  • by tvsjr ( 242190 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @10:05AM (#33758248)

    It's frightening that someone modded you insightful.

    Vehicle extrications are death-traps for firefighters. Just to name a few issues:
    Shocks in bumpers, prone to send the bumper flying off the car at knee height
    Rollover bars, prone to release at the wrong time and pummel anything in its path (already killed more than one FF)
    Chemical airbags, which can cause injury or burns
    Stored-gas airbags and their cylinders and tubing - not good to cut into a ~3Kpsi cylinder
    High-voltage cables in hybrids
    Magnesium and springs in steering columns
    Hood and tailgate struts, prone to overheating and exploding
    Fuel tank, fuel lines, etc.
    And more...

    Our bunker gear is insulating... from HEAT, not electricity. I carry a few different types of gloves (structural, extrication, work gloves for hose rolling) - none of them are rubber or insulating from electricity either. There is nothing in a firefighter's typical equipment that will provide any significant protection from electricity. Cutting a high-voltage cable in a hybrid will result in significant injury at best... death at worst.

  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Friday October 01, 2010 @10:08AM (#33758284)
    If something goes wrong at 205 mph? well, in that case you don't have to worry how to cut open the car, because the driver is probably very dead. solves that problem.

    Why do people assume all or even a majority of accidents at tripple digits are fatal? NASCAR has several crashes at near 200mph every year and yet it's been a decade since they've killed a driver or even seriously injured one. Granted they have the advantage of designing the obstacles the car can hit, but as an accident earlier this year showed they still end up with some unprotected surfaces that can end with sudden deceleration.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!