Jaguar cars are considered by many to be the epitome of high fuel consumption, yet a new experimental Jaguar XJ_e plug-in hybrid vehicle looks set to curb the marque’s appetite for fossil fuels. They’re so thrifty, in fact, John Prescott could own two and Greenpeace wouldn’t give a monkey’s.
Three prototype XJ_e cars were tested during the third annual RAC Future Car Challenge, where they achieved a whopping 112mpg. Obviously, the XJ_e prototypes were being driven incredibly gently – all cars are nursed along at frankly tedious pace during eco rallies such as this one, but its economy is impressive nonetheless.
Driven at a more normal pace, Jaguar estimates it could achieve fuel economy of 87 miles per gallon. The prototype XJ_e gains its impressive thriftiness by ditching the 5-litre V8 used in the top spec XJ in favour of a 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated with a 69kW electric motor and a 12.3kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
It’s able to run for roughly 25 miles in all-electric mode with a maximum top speed in this mode of 75mph. Emissions, meanwhile, are a mere 75g/km – 70 per cent less than the standard Jaguar XJ.
Pete Richings, Director, Jaguar Land Rover Hybrids & Electrification, said: “The three experimental XJ_e vehicles were brand new so this event was their first drive in real-world conditions. They performed faultlessly and delivered performance that exceeded our expectations, a tribute to our engineering team who prepared them. Events like this help us not only to understand the technical challenges involved but also provide an opportunity to showcase promising solutions.”
Expect to see the XJ_e hybrid powertrain appear on a production Jaguar, and in the new Range Rover, sometime in the near future.