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 |  Mar 13 2012, 4:01 PM

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British luxury car brand Jaguar stunned the world with its beautiful C-X75 concept back in 2010. Not only was its sleek design alluring, but also its jet-turbine technology.

The concept car used a pair of micro-turbines which would power the electric drive-train. So instead of using a conventional gas engine to power the electric motors, like in the Fisker Karma, Jaguar showed that using these lighter micro-turbines would be a more powerful and more efficient alternative.

But a concept is one thing, and the reality can be quite different. When Jaguar gave the C-X75 the green-light for production, they found that micro-turbine technology is still very much in its infancy, and that long-term reliability is not known for such a system. Plus, these turbines do generate more heat, so would require longer air-intakes to channel air to these motors.

So Jaguar has decided that the production, road-going C-X75, which will look pretty much identical to the concept car, will be offered with a Cosworth and Williams F1 developed 1.6-liter, turbo-charged, four cylinder engine, which will be able to produce roughly 500-hp. This engine will work with a pair of electric motors that not only assist in achieving better fuel-economy, but also add to the performance of this car.

All this is well and good, but what is to become of the original micro-turbine idea? Not to worry, that idea is not dead. Jaguar and its parent company Tata have invested and opened a new factory in Coventry, U.K. called the Bladon Jets Engineering Center. This facility, which employs 15-people, is dedicated towards the development of these micro-turbines. As for their first application, Jaguar global brand director Adrian Hallmark has said that this power plant will be featured on a track-only version of the C-X75.

Testing the system for track use will eventually pave the way forward for using the system on a road car. This means, cars with jet engines (just like what the Jetsons had) are going to be on our roads in the not too distant future.

GALLERY: Jaguar C-X75

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GALLERY: Jaguar C-X75 2010 Paris Auto Show

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[Source: Inside Line]

 |  Jan 30 2012, 8:30 PM

MINI was proud to announce today that a John Cooper Works Super Production Car (SPC) captured its first FIA International event win this past weekend. Driver Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari took the checkered flag home at the Qatar International Rally, the first found in the 2012 Middle East Rally Championship (MERC).

Al Kuwari had his brother, Nassar Al-Kuwari as his co-driver, and the pair captured the race victory by a margin of 2m 24.9s and was the team’s first career MERC win. It was also a successful debut of the Prodrive-built, Tok Sport-ran MINI John Cooper Works SPC. The MINI SPC is the regional rally specification of the MINI World Rally Car. It is nearly identical to the WRC except the SPC runs with a smaller engine restrictor (30-mm versus 33-mm) and a smaller rear wing.

“It is a fantastic feeling to win this rally,” said Al-Kuwari, who became the 32nd driver in history to win at least one round of the MERC.  “I have achieved success in national rallies in Qatar, but this was the big one. This was the rally I wanted to win. It was a great battle with Nasser. The new car was fantastic. This is the biggest win of my career.”

The team is now looking forward to becoming a force to be reckoned with in the 2012 Middle East Rally Championship.