China’s first supercar will be a plug-in hybrid with 2000km range, says maker Techrules
Techrules has showed off its Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle (TREV) system at the Geneva Motor Show in a supercar boasting 768kW and 8600Nm…
TECHRULES, A CHINA-based research and development company has revealed its Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle (TREV) system at the Geneva Motor Show. TREV, and if you’re an Australian reading this and not giggling then you need to check your pulse, uses a micro-turbine to generate electricity that charges a battery pack, and according to the maker, the turbine is so efficient it can get away with using fewer batteries, “saving weight and space”.
And this isn’t all science fiction. According to Techrules a development prototype began testing last month (February) in the UK. The system delivers peak power of 768kW and 8600Nm of torque and initial testing suggests it’ll hit 100km/h in 2.5 seconds. That’s impressive, but it’s the proposed 2000km range that’s most impressive… range anxiety, what range anxiety. But, hold on, that range is only achievable when running on aviation kerosene; expect it to be lower when filling with regular unleaded. The range on battery power only is expected to be around 150km.
“Under plug-in operation, it achieves fuel consumption of just 0.18L/100 km. Techrules plans to begin series production of TREV technology in a low volume supercar of its own design within a couple of years. It then plans to begin production of higher volume city cars a few years later”.
William Jin, the founder and CEO of Techrules, said: “The TREV system is a perfect combination of micro turbine and electric vehicle technologies. It is highly efficient, produces very low emissions and provides an optimal charging solution for electric vehicles.
“We believe it may redefine how the next generation of electric vehicles is powered.”
Indeed, reading through the maker’s materials, it suggests the TREV system is a sealed-for-life powertrain with only the ai filter needing servicing.
There are two prototypes being displayed at Geneva, the AT96 and GT96, both are two-seater AWD “supercars”.
‘AT’ refers to ‘Aviation Turbine’, indicative that the turbine is configured to run on a liquid fuel such as aviation kerosene, diesel and gasoline. The AT96, says Techrules, is a vision of a track-focused version of the supercar and features management large rear wing, which provides both straight-line stability as well as downforce to aid high speed cornering. A prototype based on the AT96 is already under test.
The GT96 – for gas turbine – is designed to run on a gaseous fuel such as biogas and natural gas and is styled as a road-going hypercar. The things also incorporate plug-in charging capability.
The kerb weight of the development vehicle is currently 1,380 kg. The target for the future production supercar is a sub-1,000 kg dry weight. The concept runs a carbon-fibre monocoque with the body structure also made from lightweight carbon-fibre.
The rear subframe carries the primary range extender components, including the micro turbine generator and direct ancillary systems, as well as the cooling systems for the electric traction motors and battery pack, and the rear motors and inverters.
Under the carbon-fibre body, a longitudinal T-shaped battery back runs down a central spine of the car – providing the same appearance in the passenger cabin as a transmission tunnel would in a front-engine, rear wheel drive car. The battery pack is liquid cooled to maintain an optimal operating temperature for the cells.
The supercar concept is driven by six electric traction motors, each weighing 13 kg and each one of which is coupled to its own dedicated inverter. Each front wheel is driven by a single motor, while each rear wheel is driven by a pair of motors. This six-motor layout with independent power feeding each wheel offers impressive torque vectoring opportunities via an electronic control unit. Four-way torque vectoring will be used in place of technical differentials. Braking is via brake energy regeneration and 405mm ventilated discs with six-piston calipers at the front, and 380mm ventilated discs with four-piston calipers at the rear.
What do we think? A Chinese supercar with all-wheel drive, 768kW and 8600Nm.