What are the chances this thing sees production?
The Geneva Motor Show is the place where automakers debut new models for the mass market. It's also a place where unknown brands showcase insane vehicles. This turbine-hybrid-electric car is an example of the latter. A little while ago, a Chinese company called Techrules claimed that it was working on an electric car that made 1,030 horsepower and could travel 1,200 miles between fill-ups. These are bold claims from an automaker that no one's ever heard of before. They almost sound too good to be true...
At the show, Techrules showcased its "Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle" (TREV) hybrid powertrain in a car called the AT96. A turbine-powered car might sound like a terrible idea, but Techrules claims that its system works exclusively to extend the vehicle's range. The micro-turbine charges the battery pack, which in turn powers the motors that drive the wheels. The idea is that weight can be cut by replacing extra batteries with the micro-turbine. Said engine runs on aviation fuel in the AT96, which is track-only. However, the GT96 runs on regular gas and is road-legal. The company states that it has been testing a prototype at Silverstone which produced 1,030 hp and a claimed 6,300 lb-ft of torque.
Techrules says it has a 0 to 62 mph time of 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 217 mph. If that's not enough, the company also claims that the car can travel 1,569 mpg thanks to its unique hybrid setup. These numbers are ridiculous and have very little data to back them up. However, turbine-hybrid power may just be the way forward. Techrules plans to begin production of a car based on the AT96 in a few years but according to MotorAuthority its goal is to build city cars using this type of technology. While this thing seems to be nothing but vaporware the goal of Techrules isn't to dominate the supercar scene. It's to push its new tech. You couldn't put a unique system like this in a boring city car and expect to get attention in Geneva.
Whether or not the AT96 TREV ever goes from concept to reality, we'll always have these live shots and this nifty promo video to remember it by.