Jaguar XJ with range extender technology revealed

Jaguar has revealed its innovative Limo-Green concept car, a series hybrid XJ equipped with a range extender engine.

Jaguar is billing it as a one-off concept to display the technology, but it is expected to make production once the cost its expensive electrical components and battery packs come down.

Land Rover eyes hybrid tech

See the Limo-Green concept picture gallery

“The technology is still in its infancy and there is still a lot of work to do before we can even think of production,” said Anthony Harper, head of research at Jaguar Land Rover. “The components aren’t at the right cost or quality yet you would expect of a Jaguar product, but the technology is there.”

Limo-Green uses a 145kw, 295lb ft electric motor to power it for up to 30 miles. Once the electric charge runs out, a 1.2-litre petrol unit (developed by Lotus) provides back up power and recharges the battery to allow a combined range of 600 miles. Combined fuel economy is 57mpg, while Co2 emissions are sub 120g/km and its top speed is 112mph.

The concept is fully working and serious testing is expected to begin next year. A company source wouldn’t put a production date on Limo-Green, but confirmed the powertrain would be most suited to the XJ.

“Originally we had it working in the old XJ but we have shifted our attentions to the new model,” said the source. “It could feasibly fit in other models but the XJ is most likely to adopt it in production form. We’d never put a date on when it will make production but it certainly shows where we see our future. Watch this space.”

JLR has spent a seven-figure sum developing the Limo-Green as part of a wider £800 million investment in low carbon projects. Although a source claimed government help wasn’t essential in making projects like Limo-Green a reality, they did say government would need to continue to invest in future technology for the UK to “show what it can do in leading the world with low carbon technology”.

The concept has been completed in conjunction with Lotus, MIRA and Caparo, with some funding coming from the government’s Technology Strategy Board.

Mark Tisshaw

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