Jag merges with Chevy
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.