The modular platform is highly adaptable.
When the GT96 was unveiled at Geneva last year, Chinese firm Techrules was simply gauging potential interest in its maiden project. Would anyone be tempted by an EV capable of over 1,000 hp and 6,300 lb-ft of torque? Could we get behind the idea of a turbine engine powering the battery pack? It turns out that interest was sufficient for Techrules to return this year with a pre-production model dubbed the Ren, which will be built by LM Gianetti in Turin, Italy.
The Italian outfit has been developing racing cars for an age, and is responsible for the likes of the Lancia Delta S4 and P4/5 Competizione to name but a few. Styling has been taken care of by design studio GFG Progrtti, co-founded by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who some consider to be the most accomplished automotive designer on the planet, with the BMW M1 and DeTomaso Mangusta two of his best-loved creations. The Ren can be ordered as a single seater, with two seats, or in a three-seat layout ala the McLaren F1. There are no doors to speak of, instead a canopy provides entry and exit to and from the vehicle.
A self-leveling screen sits in the steering wheel, there are a trio of monitoring screens projecting images from the rear-view and side cameras that replace conventional mirrors, while passengers get touchscreens and microphones to play with. We sat down with CEO William Jin who, via an interpreter, revealed that around ten cars year will be built per year with a 96-unit limited run over its lifespan. Each will carry a seven-figure price tag and will go "to customers who live in the wealthiest parts of the world." Think China, Arabia, Russia and the US.
Techrules is hoping for long-term partnerships with its Italian partners on the project, and given the strides it's already made in such a short space of time, we wouldn't bet against them from returning next year with its second model. A modular platform underpins the Ren, and can be adapted for a range of different models, "from an SUV to even a motorcycle," with a choice of three motor configurations. The first features two electric motors, one driving each axle. The second has four motors, one for each wheel, while the final configuration boasts six electric motors, two powering the front wheels and four powering the rear.
With all six battery-powered motors, the Ren makes 1,287 hp and 1,725 lb-ft of torque. However the engines can be deactivated so that owners can cruise through traffic with just one engine motivating the car. Top speed is rated at 199 mph and 0-62 mph happens in 2.5 seconds. Battery sizes range from 14 kWh to 32 kWh, and can be charged from dead to 80 percent in 15 minutes using a DC fast charger. There are also a handful of turbine configurations to pick from and the Ren can run on gasoline, natural gas and or diesel. The TREV system has the ability to max out at 1,242 miles of range "depending on the vehicle it is used in." The electric-only range peaks at 124 miles.