There’s a fascinating, official, insight into the future of Jaguar Land Rover buried in yesterday’s Sunday Times’ Business section.
Of the four ‘green’ projects – all supported by the government’s Technology Strategy Board - most surprising is the ‘Limo Green’ concept.
Based on the new XJ saloon, the LG is – like the Chevrolet Volt - a self-charging electric vehicle. Jaguar says the LG, which is likely to cost £500m, will be launched in 2011.
Rather than having a conventional engine and electric motors (which are both connected to the wheels in a conventional hybrid) the LG is powered primarily by its lithium-ion battery packs, which in turn drive a 170bhp electric motor and two-speed transmission.
The battery packs will be charged by a 47bhp Lotus-designed petrol engine, which runs at a constant speed to keep consumption and emissions to an absolute minimum. The LG can also be plugged into the mains for an overnight recharge.
Apparently the LG’s aluminium monocoque will be further lightened through the use of composites, so that the whole vehicle will come in at 1350kg. Early estimates suggest the LG will be good for 57mpg and 120g/km. However, the car’s exhaust will be close to completely pollutant-free, a crucial advantage for future US sales.