Jaguar and Williams F1 are pulling all the stops to get as much power out of a 1.6-liter four as humanly possible.
How much power could you get out of a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine? 200 horsepower? 300? Try 500 on for size. That's the engine Jaguar is said to be developing with the Williams F1 team for its new supercar. The concept C-X75 showcased a conceptual micro-turbine hybrid powertrain, and while Jaguar is said to be pursuing that route as well, it may not be ready in time to roll out the production model - and may not even be street legal when it finally does.
That's why Jaguar is working on the 500-horsepower 1.6, which is tipped to incorporate a slew of technologies to get there. For starters, the engine will reportedly be able to rev all the way to 10,000 rpm - a higher red-line than most any supercar engine in production. It is also tipped to include both direct injection and port fuel injection as well as a turbocharger and supercharger and an additional electric battery pack for hybrid propulsion, which combined will produce a higher specific output (i.e. horsepower-per-liter ratio) than anything else out there.
Coupled to a low curb weight, the production C-X75 is expected to break the 3-second barrier for its 0-60 run and top over 200 mph - all from an engine no bigger than you'd expect to find in a small hatchback. On battery power alone (without spooling up the high-strung engine), it is still expected to be able to run 0-60 in six seconds flat. Still in the development phase, it may be too early to say when the production version will be ready. But when it does, it will square off against the Porsche 918 Spyder and the successors to the Ferrari Enzo and McLaren F1 - each of which will also employ hybrid assists to reach similar power and performance figures.