The prototype comes with the Flywheel Hybrid System for Premium Vehicles (FHSPV) and is the result of a collaboration between British engineering specialists Flybrid Systems, Torotrak, Xtrac, and Prodrive, with some input from Ricardo. The composite flywheel is driven through a Torotrak/Xtrac CVT gearbox and can reach 60,000 rpm. The power to the wheel is controlled through a computer.
Along with the flywheel technology, Jaguar is also testing a start/stop system to collect the lost energy and reuse it upon start up. This will allow for fuel economy savings of up to 20%.
Project’s engineer Daniel Loftus said at the event: "The FHSPV is really an engineering due diligence exercise. We need to look at mechanical flywheels and see how they compare with electric hybrids. And then see if they have a production future."
In order for the Jaguar to carry the hybrid system, which weighs in at only 65 kilos, the company had to do away with about a quarter of the spare wheel well. However, the good news is that the system will also be suitable for the bigger and heavier vehicles in Jaguar’s family.
This project talks the talk to a tune of about £3 million, with £2.2m coming from the government’s Technology Strategy Board. Now, we have to wait to see if it can walk the walk, so to say.