The C-X16 signposts how the next generation of Jaguar sports cars will produce their power in an environmentally conscious manner. The concept is powered by an experimental hybrid powertrain that combines an all-alloy V6 engine with a performance-boosting electric motor with a "Push-to-Pass" feature inspired by the Formula 1 Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) system.
The purpose of this prototype hybrid-performance system is threefold: to supplement the V6 engine’s already prodigious power through an on-demand ‘Push to Pass’ system; to reduce fuel consumption; and to allow the C-X16 to perform as a zero-emissions electric vehicle at speeds of up to 50mph on low throttle openings.
The starting point is Jaguar’s eight-speed transmission with Intelligent Start/Stop, which recently launched to great acclaim in the XF sports sedan. The system can shut down the engine in just 300 milliseconds after the car has come to rest and utilizes a Twin Solenoid Starter that is capable of restarting it in the time it takes the driver’s foot to travel from the brake to the accelerator. This provides for faster recovery and seamless performance.
The C-X16 extends the Start/Stop system’s functionality by linking it to a transmission integrated motor generator mounted as one unit with the gearbox. This draws power from a 1.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted behind the seats for perfect weight distribution.
Originally developed for one of the most demanding motorsports environments, the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) used by Jaguar has its inspiration in racing. The battery pack is predominantly charged through a rear axle electro-hydraulic brake energy regeneration system.
PERFORMANCE ON DEMAND
A dashboard display graphic indicates when the additional boost provided by the electric motor can be deployed. When charged, a ‘Push to Pass’ boost button mounted on the steering wheel allows access to an additional 94HP and 173lb ft of torque for up to 10 seconds. Because of the lag-free nature of an electric motor, this power is instantaneously available. The battery is constantly and automatically recharged, the entire system overseen by a Hybrid Vehicle Supervisory Controller.
Both the battery pack and electric motor mounted in the C-X16 are liquid cooled; preventing performance loss from heat build-up during spirited use. To cool the battery the advanced electronics draw chilled coolant from the climate-control system. The AC compressor is electric powered, rather than engine-driven, to reduce losses. The hybrid system is placed within the wheelbase of the car to optimize weight distribution and maximize agility by reducing the polar moment of inertia.
The singularity of purpose exhibited by the exterior styling of the C-X16 is reinforced the moment the door is opened, whereupon driver and passenger are greeted by a dramatic red interior trimmed in the finest materials; leather, Alcantara® micro-suede fabric, anodized machined aluminum, carbon-fiber and dark chrome.
VERMILLION RED INTERIOR
The car is clearly centered around the driver and underlines its ‘One plus One’ layout by deliberately creating as cocooned and cosseting a space as possible. The heart-stirring potential of the C-X16 is underlined by the choice of visceral Vermillion Red as the primary color and trim theme throughout.
The C-X16 takes inspiration for elements of its layout from aeronautical ergonomics, such as the joystick-style gear lever and banks of toggle switches that also reference classic racing Jaguar cars. As a result of this thinking the dashboard has been shrink-wrapped around the driver to provide the best view forward, allowing the car to be placed with absolute precision in corners, aided by the sharp creases on top of the front fenders.
The desire to keep the top of the dashboard as unadorned as possible led to the creation of an Intelligent Venting System. Governed by complex algorithms built in to the advanced climate control, this double vent – inspired by the intakes on the Typhoon fighter jet – deploys out of the dash to provide an intense blast of hot or cold air as needed to rapidly alter the cabin temperature and then discreetly retracts when the desired level is reached.
In the same way that the exterior door handles are concealed until activated, a desire for ergonomic clarity means aspects of the interior remain ‘secret until required’. Pushing the starter button initiates an aircraft-inspired starting sequence that powers up the hidden-until-lit displays in a cascade down the center console. What looks at first sight like a TFT screen in front of the driver is revealed to be an elegant twin-dial instrument panel, a hallmark of Jaguar sports cars, hidden behind a smoked glass panel.
With Jaguar already a leader in touchscreen technology, the C-X16 features the next generation of the system, augmenting the central screen with two rows of ‘Home’ keys on either side that provide shortcuts to top-level menu functions. Further controls take their inspiration from devices such as smartphones and tablets and provide multimodal functionality.
The rotary heating controls are made from machined aluminum and anodized in dark gunmetal; traditional materials, but in the center of each is a miniature OLED display which reconfigures according to how the controls are used. Rotating the controls alters the temperature on respective sides of the car but pushing them changes their functionality; they now control the heating and cooling functions of the seats.
The switchgear is framed in carbon-fiber and features subtle ‘watch-like’ dark chrome highlights while the gear lever and dynamic mode selector switch are surrounded by red anodized aluminum to emphasize their purpose.
The center console armrest houses the Jaguar 'Connect and View' system. This system allows smartphones from a range of manufacturers to be plugged into the machined aluminum tray between the front seats, whereupon the central touch-screen reconfigures to reflect that device's display. The system will communicate with the majority of the smartphone’s functions, alerting the driver to appointments, providing navigation instructions, reading out emails and texts and, of course, making and receiving phone calls.
Made from lightweight composite materials the close-fitting and supportive racing seats feature manual adjustments to further reduce weight. A central carbon-fiber spine runs up the center of each setback to reinforce it.
The structural properties of carbon-fiber are further utilized in a bracing bar that flows back from the center console dividing the seats and then splits in two, before being bolted to the rear suspension turrets to provide additional rigidity. Further carbon-fiber is found in the center console, framed by the tailored passenger grab handle that flows organically from the dashboard to the transmission tunnel. The floor is finished in aluminum and black Poltrona Frau® leather that has been subtly hand quilted with a Hex pattern influenced by the historic Jaguar logo – this same motif is found stitched into the Alcantara® headlining.
Nestled discreetly behind the front seats are the lithium-ion battery pack and inverter that provide power to the hybrid drive system. Positioned here for optimum weight distribution, they are hidden under a cover machined from solid aluminum and designed with integral heat sinks.