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Mardi, 13 Septembre 2011 22:15

Hello, Kitty: Jaguar Unveils Sexy Hybrid

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Hello, Kitty: Jaguar Unveils Sexy Hybrid

It isn’t enough that the Jaguar C-X16 concept unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show is drop-dead gorgeous. No, Jaguar had to give it a slick hybrid system for a little extra oomph.

Be still our hearts.

OK, the Jaguar C-X16 is not a hybrid in the traditional sense, i.e., it isn’t a total bore. If you’re looking for fuel efficiency above all else, move along, there’s nothing for you to see here. But if you want a car that promises to be a hoot to drive, read on.

Jaguar cribbed from Formula 1 by fitting the two-seater with a kinetic energy recovery system, also known as push to pass. A supercharged 3.0-liter V6 — good for 375 horsepower and 332 foot-pounds — provides most of the forward propulsion, but a 70 kilowatt (94 hp) electric motor provides added boost at the push of a button.

Mash the gas pedal and the red button on the steering wheel and the C-X16 will hit 62 mph from a standstill in 4.4 seconds (Jag says the car does 50 to 75 in 2.1). Top speed is 186 mph, and CO2 emissions are pegged at 165 grams per kilometer. That comes to 33 mpg by our math, but please let us know if we’ve screwed up the conversion.

The electric motor is bolted to the ZF eight-speed transmission. It draws juice from a 1.6 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery charged through regenerative braking.

Everything’s mounted in an aluminum chassis with 50:50 weight distribution. The C-X16 is tiny, by Jaguar standards, coming in at 14.5 feet long with a wheelbase of 8.6 feet. It’s the smallest Jaguar since the Jaguar XK120 appeared in 1954 and the company’s first two-seater sports car since the venerable E Type. As for the name, it’s the 16th Jag penned by design director Ian Callum.

Jaguar calls the C-X16 a “design concept,” and there’s tremendous speculation that it will be built. The company has long promised a small sports car and is hinting the C-X16 could be it.

“With this car, we are creating our future, Jaguar is now in its rightful place,” Callum told Auto Express.

Jaguar brand director Adrian Hallmark added further fuel to the fire when he told Auto Express, “Everything you see before you is technically feasible. In fact, the only part of this concept that wouldn’t currently meet legislation for the road is the seat structures. Everything else you can see, from the wheels to the roof, meets all the requirements to be put into production.”

Auto Express says the car would cost £60,000 to £80,000 — about $127,000 at the upper end of that range. So will Jaguar build it?

“This is a long term play for the business,” Hallmark said. “We are not launching it today, we are asking for potential customers to give us their feedback.”

Not that we’ll ever have 127 grand to drop on a car, but here’s our feedback: Build it.

Photos: Jaguar

Hello, Kitty: Jaguar Unveils Sexy Hybrid

Hello, Kitty: Jaguar Unveils Sexy Hybrid

Hello, Kitty: Jaguar Unveils Sexy Hybrid

Hello, Kitty: Jaguar Unveils Sexy Hybrid


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