Beijing-based Techrules has made a few more bold claims for its turbine-recharged electric vehicle (TREV) concepts.
The company promises to build cars that employ small turbines as range-extending generators, charging the onboard 20-kWh lithium-manganese-oxide battery. The setup is said to theoretically provide a hybrid range of over 1,243 miles, or a plug-in electric-only estimate of 93 miles.
Micro-turbine range-extension is not new to the automotive industry, culminating in Jaguar’s C-X75 concept that was rumored to be production-bound before the auto industry crashed. The turbine can be run at its most efficient rpm to charge onboard batteries, while requiring much less under-the-hood space than a traditional piston engine.
Techrules expects its system to deliver around 1,030 horsepower and, incredibly, 6,300 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. The latter figure will likely inspire skepticism, as the Bugatti Veyron produces ‘just’ 1,180 lb-ft of torque and the flagship Tesla Model S P90D promises 713 lb-ft. If true, the TREV would match torque output of Top Fuel dragsters — presumably well beyond the traction threshold for street tires. In any case, the company claims the cars can reach 62 mph in just 2.5 seconds and hit a limited top speed of 217 mph.
Two concepts are being planned, the track-focused AT96 and a road-going GT96 (pictured). The former runs on kerosene, diesel or gasoline, while the latter can be powered by gaseous fuels such as natural gas or biogas.
The company claims to have already built an AT96 prototype, with help from partners in Italy and the UK. Track testing is said to have kicked off in February at Silverstone.
Very few automotive startups actually bring vehicles to market as promised, so Techrules’ claims will likely be shrouded in doubt until the company moves further into the development process.