Jag merges with Chevy

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

an XJ lux­ury limou­sine that uses the same sort of power pack as the Chevro­let Volt.

A tiny three-cylin­der petrol en­gine is used to charge an on­board bat­tery pack, which then sparks the elec­tric en­gines which move the car.

The sys­tem has been de­vel­oped by Lo­tus En­gi­neer­ing in Bri­tain and, al­though full de­tails are not yet pub­lic, Jaguar is the first con­firmed cus­tomer.

“It’s a se­ries hy­brid. Like the Volt,” said Ian Cal­lum, a di­rec­tor at Jaguar Cars in Bri­tain. “We have a pro­to­type run­ning at the mo­ment. I’ve driven it. It goes quite quick. It’s quite funny to drive. Al­most bizarre with the sound and the way it goes. Elec­tric cars are quick.”

Mr Cal­lum is the de­sign chief at Jaguar but has a deep in­ter­est in me­chan­i­cal mo­ti­va­tion. His own garage houses a clas­sic 1956 Chevro­let and a hotrod and he chooses a high­per­for­mance XF-R as his com­pany ride.

He said the “se­ries” hy­brid was a step on from the petrol-elec­tric sys­tems fit­ted to the Toy­ota Prius and Honda In­sight, al­though he said Jaguar – like a num­ber of its ri­vals, in­clud­ing Porsche with the Panam­era – also will use those to cut its car­bon foot­print.

“It’s all part of the voy­age of dis­cov­ery. We’re tak­ing it very se­ri­ously,” Mr Cal­lum said.

He be­lieved ev­ery car­maker would need a spread of green-power cars to get it through com­ing decades but ad­mits Jaguar has not set­tled on a sin­gle elec­tric track.

And he rules out, for now, a full-on com­mit­ment to plug-in elec­tric power.

“It’s not the sil­ver bul­let. It’s just one an­swer to a se­ries of ques­tions,” Mr Cal­lum said.

He ad­mits the XJ hy­brid is a firm pro­gram but has few de­tails. “We don’t know, yet, how many we will build. We’re go­ing to build a lim­ited num­ber,” he said.

“And we'll have a gen­er­a­tion of hy­brids as well.” Mr Cal­lum de­fends Jaguar’s po­si­tion and the way the mo­tor in­dus­try, as a whole, has been at­tacked over emis­sions. “Farm­ing cre­ates far more emis­sions than the mo­tor in­dus­try. It’s all about per­cep­tions,” he said.

“What I would like to see … is a fair­ness in the dis­tri­bu­tion of ef­fort to help the en­vi­ron­ment. The car in­dus­try has been hit very hard. It’s an easy tar­get. And it’s way ahead of the game.”

Dif­fer­ent mix: The same sort of power pack as the Chevro­let Volt has been used in the new XJ.

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