|Game-changing innovations in the supercar world | AT96 TREV|
About six years ago, microturbines seemed like they were going to make some waves in the auto industry, particularly the exotic sports car market. Capstone hooked a range-extending microturbine up to the electric powertrain of its sporty 2009 CMT-380 and mentioned the automobile would travel around 500 miles (805 km) prior to needing a recharge. Months later, Jaguar revealed the much more renowned 2010 C-X75 idea, which employed two microturbines from Bladon Jets to bring an estimated 560-mile (900-km) range onto a supercar-level spec sheet. There have been a couple of other microturbine vehicle projects in the years prior to and right after the Capstone and Jaguar, but we have not heard about any lately.
Turbines have found their way to fleet car powertrains developed by Wrightspeed, but the microturbine-assisted electric sports automobile hype has faded. That has all seemed to change, China brings an eye opener to the concept of the range-extending turbine once again.
Techrules, a Chinese automotive research and development firm, presented an innovative turbine-equipped electric supercar concept called the AT96 TREV at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show this week. It isn't divulging much information, other than to say that its Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle (TREV) system "incorporates several technological innovations that provide unprecedented advances in both complete-life environmental efficiencies and dynamic performance."
Techrule's report stated that the supercar concept TREV refers to Turbine-Recharging Electric Automobile system, a range-extending setup that combines aviation and motorsports technologies, to create a higher-performance, eco-friendly powertrain. A micro-turbine that spins up to 96,000 rpm serves as a range extender and generates electricity to recharge the car's on-board battery pack, which then supplies power to electric motors that drive the vehicle's wheels. Techrules says the TREV system saves weight and space since it has no need for an additional battery.
One of these advantages is the claimed 1,243-mile (2,000-km) range that it estimates for the 1,030-bhp concept car. Turbine-backed EV variety estimates usually look extremely optimistic, but this one just appears crazy-high compared not only to other turbine ideas but to each and every other vehicle we can think of. If this is true, the future looks bright for electric supercars and maybe some of that technology will trickle down to other muscle cars that are less expensive. We'll keep an eye out for what comes next.