The battle for the plug-in hybrid car market has begun to heat up after a surprising but wildly successful entry by luxury car maker Jaguar in the RAC Future Car Challenge that took place in the United Kingdom on November 3.
Jaguar's vehicle, known as the XJ_e, finished the event having utilized just 1.2 liters of gasoline during the 63-mile jaunt from Brighton, England to London. This means that the car achieved a whopping 112 miles-per gallon, relying instead on 11 kilowatt hours (kWh) to power its groundbreaking journey.
For their efforts, the automaker received the awards for "Most Energy Efficient Luxury Car" and "Technical Panel's Award of Merit," designations that will surely provide a boost to sales when the vehicle eventually hits consumer markets. The feat was not lost on Jaguar officials, including hybrid division director Peter Richings who hailed it as the next step for the company's green initiatives.
"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," he said in a press statement. "Events like this help us not only to understand the technical challenges involved but also provide an opportunity to showcase promising solutions."
The next steps for Jaguar involve perfecting their system in preparation for shipping them to showrooms around the world. The company is also working on a special edition supercar based on their plug-in hybrid technology. Known as the C-X75, this model will be limited to 250 cars with a price tag of roughly $1.5 million.
While we don't expect that many Americans will be able to get their hands on one of these high-powered rides, it's a great sign to see more automakers embracing the effort to reduce energy consumption.