Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jaguar Chief Engineer Confirms Hybrid Plans


WITH THE 2010 JAGUAR XJ just around the corner, the British luxury marque is looking to give its all-new flagship that little extra edge in the market, and the company believes hybrid technology is the key.

Courtesy of a £307 million ($636m) loan from the European Investment Bank, Jaguar and Land Rover are working on new hybrid systems for use in future models, including the XJ and the upcoming XE roadster.

Land Rover’s hybrid models are expected to use a more familiar petrol-engine hybrid, while Jaguar has opted to go the full nine yards, shooting for a Chevrolet Volt style hybrid.

Jaguar’s chief engineer Kevin Stride spoke recently with Fairfax news, confirming that the Tata-owned British marque is working on a plug-in hybrid system that will focus on an electric motor as its main source of power, with a small traditional petrol engine functioning as a backup.

Stride pointed to conventional hybrid systems as “inefficient”, describing the more familiar petrol-engine hybrids as “less efficient than an electric motor. You want your most efficient motor driving the wheels.”

Jaguar’s engineering boss said that conventional internal combustion engines are at their best when running at a constant RPM, and Jaguar would set its backup petrol engine for just that sort of use.

Jaguar is also planning to introduce stop-start and brake-energy recovery systems to its line-up, both proven technologies for reducing fuel consumption and emissions.