The Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex attracted international visitors interested in the past, present and future of automobiles. This annual festival exhibited classic British cars dating back to the early 20th century at the Cathedral Paddock. Racing fans witnessed motorcycle demonstrations at the Cricket Pitch and presentations by Formula One teams. Jaguar used last weekend’s show as a launching pad for the XJ_e PHEV, a plug-in version of the XJ luxury sedan. This demonstrator shows the potential for public and private partners to develop hybrid vehicles through collaboration rather than competition.
Jaguar worked with the UK Technology Strategy Board along with private partners to bring the XJ_e PHEV to life. The Board supplied a significant portion of funding necessary for research, development and production of the demonstrator through the REEVolution Project. The XJ_e PHEV would not have been possible without specially designed components from Axeon Technology, Xtrac and EVO Electric. Jaguar has also partnered with Nissan and Lotus to share technology necessary for the development of plug-in vehicles. The XJ_e was joined at Goodwood by the Infiniti EMERG-E and the Lotus Evora 414E produced under this agreement.
The standard Jaguar XJ creates substantial power thanks to a 5.0-liter V8 engine. An important consideration for Jaguar in the development of the XJ_e was maintaining power while reducing emissions. Engineers at Jaguar developed a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that works with the eight-speed automatic transmission for a smooth ride. Jaguar commissioned a 69kW electric motor from EVO Electric and a 12.3 kWh lithium-ion battery from Aveon to round out the drive train. Each cell within the battery pack is heated and cooled by liquid to ensure proper operation. The automaker estimates a maximum output of 246kW for the XJ_e drive system.
Performance estimates for the XJ_e PHEV combine speed, power and fuel efficiency for an ideal hybrid. Jaguar found that the XJ_e can hit 60 miles per hour from a full stop within 6.5 seconds while the maximum speed is 150 MPH. The Aveon battery pack supplies enough power for 25 miles of all-electric travel at low speeds.
This eco-friendly luxury sedan could reach a fuel economy rating of 73.5 miles per gallon based on Jaguar lab tests. A key metric for Jaguar is the estimated tailpipe emissions of 75 g/km, which represents a 70% decrease compared to the XJ.
Presentations at the Goodwood Festival of Speed offer contrasts between successive generations of cars. Tinkerers at the turn of the 20th century were using batteries and motors to create experimental vehicles powered entirely by electricity. The development of commercially viable engines led to the creation of production models powered by gasoline.
A century of vehicles powered by fossil fuels will hopefully evolve toward alternative fuels devoid of oil’s political and environmental concerns. The Jaguar XJ_e PHEV is not heading for the market at present and the retail price would likely be too rich for most consumers. We should focus more on the collaborative process that turned a gas-guzzling luxury vehicle into a supercharged hybrid in a hurry.