Hybrid vehicles have come in all shapes and variants over the past few years, but Beijing based automotive R&D company Techrules is preparing to showcase its revolutionary turbine powered hybrid supercar at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.
Known officially as the Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle (TREV) the unique vehicle allegedly uses a turbine powered range extending generator to help charge the batteries. While it is currently unknown if such a setup is viable in the long term scheme of things, the mysterious company claims that the TREV is capable of producing 1,030 horsepower, and a driving range of roughly 1,240 miles. While these claims will indeed raise a few skeptical eyebrows, this is actually not the first time that turbines have been considered for potential use as an alternative power source.
In the past General Motors, Toyota and Chrysler have all toyed around with the idea of a turbine powered automobile. Chrysler’s effort known as the Turbine Car was the most notable of these early efforts, and it culminated with a limited production run that saw the car loaned out to early adopters before all of them were rounded up and crushed (except for a couple that escaped.) However, all three of these early models used the turbine to help power the rear wheels, which proved to be a failure since the turbines immense throttle lag and low efficiency at low rpm speeds proved to be formidable handicaps. However the setup employed by Techrules does seem promising since the turbine would bring running at optimal speed versus past setups.
Turbines have made their most noticeable mark in non automotive applications with British startup company Bladon Jets recently unveiling turbine based generators for telecommunications equipment. Bladon claims the new generators will not only be more powerful and efficient than diesel or gas based units, but also arrive in a smaller yet more power dense package.
Bladon was also the firm that developed the turbine technology for Jaguar’s stillborn CX-75 Concept. The futuristic supercar used two micro turbines to help charge a battery pack that sent the resulting electricity to four electric motors. The powertrain was capable of producing 780 horsepower and a potent 1,180 lb-ft of torque.
As for the mysterious TREV concept, look for Techrules to announce more details closer to its official debut at Geneva. We look forward to seeing its exterior styling, and whether it embraces more conventional cues or goes in a more futuristic direction.