10.25.2019 12:32 PM

Innovation

Jaguar’s Vision GT Coupé is a bold vision of the future of electric cars

Jaguar has taken the wraps off its first virtual all-electric concept car, with a specs sheet that would give the upcoming Tesla Roadster a run for its money.

The Jaguar Vision Gran Turismo Coupé, unveiled Friday, packs three motors offering a combined 750 kilowatts of power and 1,200 Newton-meters. The vehicle can reach 0 to 60 mph in under two seconds and packs a top speed of over 200 mph. The car will be available to drive at the end of November in Gran Turismo Sport, the PlayStation 4 racing simulator that’s received numerous updates since its October 2017 launch.

“This was the dream project for a car designer, creating a futuristic sports car for Gran Turismo means our designs and ideas could be truly limitless,” Oliver Cattell-Ford, exterior designer for Jaguar Advanced Design, said in a statement.

Although the car doesn’t exist in the real world, the design and specs demonstrate how Jaguar envisions the future of electric vehicles. The design draws on heritage Jaguar models, while also accounting for necessary tweaks like a charging port. Some of the more inventive tweaks include an artificial intelligence system and a holographic display paired with augmented reality, although the company notes that these features won’t be available for the in-game version.

The Jaguar Vision GT Coupé in action.Jaguar

“We’ve really pushed the limit to imagine how a future Jaguar sports car interior could look,” Chris Shaw, interior designer for Jaguar Advanced Design, said in a statement. “The architecture is visually lightweight, simple, and dramatic; featuring advanced and experimental materials and finishes. Sitting in the stunningly considered cockpit and looking out onto the gracefully long bonnet of the Jaguar Vision GT Coupé — a view that is unmistakably Jaguar — the player will be fully immersed in the action.”

Jaguar's Vision GT Coupé, parked.Jaguar

Electric cars are starting to reach a broad audience, as technology matures and prices reduce. Statista shows global battery electric car usage jumped from 1.9 million in 2017 to 3.3 million in 2018. With this shift, automakers have started exploring the next generation of electric cars. Tesla is set to launch the Roadster supercar with high-end specs, Volkswagen has detailed several concepts for future mass market machines, and Byton’s M-Byte concept offers a 48-inch screen for more information at once.

For Jaguar, which started rolling out its all-electric I-Pace last year, its vision of the future is very much in keeping with current trends around electric vehicles.

Jaguar Vision GT Coupé: how the specs stack up

The vehicle packs a number of design flairs from Jaguars of yesteryear. The company explains that its sculpted front fenders harken back to its C-Type racing cars, the plan shape mimics the D-Type, and the cabin is reminiscent of the E-Type. The twin charging sockets placed on either side of the rear mimic the 1968 XJ saloon.

The car is virtually constructed from carbon fiber composites and aluminum alloys. It uses experimental materials that help bring its weight down to 1,400 kg (3,086 pounds) and offer an almost 50/50 weight distribution.

The car's interior.Jaguar

Inside, the car uses a “KITT-E” artificial intelligence, shown in a holographic representation. The assistant can offer 3D maps, vehicle data and other information. Augmented reality glass either side highlights obstacles, while an information cluster shows old-style gauges.

The car’s sound comes from a recording of the 603 Long Nose D-Type, with a 3.8-liter XK engine. This new recording was mixed with futuristic sounds to add new layers. In the world of silent electric motors, automakers have new license to create new car sounds — Tesla CEO Elon Musk has suggested his cars could sound like horses.

The Jaguar Vision GT Coupé in action.Jaguar

On the motor side, the car uses two rear wheel motors and one front wheel motor. These offers 750 kilowatts combined and 1,200 Newton-meters. The maximum speed hits over 200 mph and its 0 to 60 mph acceleration times clocks in under two seconds. No word on battery range, an issue less relevant in the simulated world of car racing.

The Vision GT Coupé may never see the light of non-virtual day, but as a vision for the future of electric cars, the racing drivers of the future could one day sit behind the wheel of something similar.

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