1,030-hp Chinese supercar concept with turbine range extender
It’s been a few years since turbine-equipped electric supercars were in vogue, but they’re making a semi-comeback at the Geneva Motor Show. Beijing-based Techrules will reveal a 1,030-bhp (768 kW) electric supercar concept that uses a range-extending turbine to roll its tires for more than 1,200 miles per fill-up. We’re taking those numbers with a shaker of salt, but the company’s turbine tech should definitely make for an interesting topic at the show.
About six years ago, microturbines seemed like they were going to make some waves in the auto market, specifically the exotic sports car market. Capstone hooked a range-extending microturbine up to the electric powertrain of its sporty 2009 CMT-380 and said the car would travel around 500 miles (805 km) before needing fuel. Months later, Jaguar revealed the more famous 2010 C-X75 concept, which used two microturbines from Bladon Jets to pencil an estimated 560-mile (900-km) range onto a supercar-level spec sheet.
There were a few other microturbine car projects in the years before and after the Capstone and Jaguar, but we haven’t heard about any lately. Turbines have found their way to fleet vehicle powertrains developed by Wrightspeed, but the microturbine-assisted electric sports car hype has faded.
That will all change in a couple weeks, when Techrules shines a spotlight on the idea of the range-extending turbine once again. It isn’t divulging much information, outside of saying that its Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle (TREV) system “incorporates several technological innovations that deliver unprecedented advances in both whole-life environmental efficiencies and dynamic performance.”
One of those advantages must be the claimed 1,243-mile (2,000-km) range that it estimates for the 1,030-bhp concept car. Turbine-backed EV range estimates always seem very rosy, but that one just seems crazy-high compared not only to other turbine concepts, but to every other car we can think of. We are looking forward to the explanation that Techrules gives to justify such an estimate, though.