Turbine Range-Extended Plug-In Supercar Headed For Geneva Show

Techrules AT96 TREV concept, 2016 Geneva Motor Show

Techrules AT96 TREV concept, 2016 Geneva Motor Show

Enlarge Photo

Mysterious Chinese-backed startups looking to get into the electric-car business seem to be the order of the day.

Faraday Future made a splash at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show with its FFZero1 concept, and plans to build an electric car in the U.S. with backing from Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting.

Then there's Atieva, which is based in Silicon Valley and was recently taken over by Chinese automaker BAIC (Beijing Automotive Industry Corp.).

DON'T MISS: Faraday Future Shows FFZero1 Concept, But What Did We Learn?

Now there's yet another new player, promising what could be the most ambitious new car of them all.

A Chinese company called Techrules says it will unveil an electric supercar concept at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show next month.

That concept will use turbines as range extenders, hence its name--Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle, or TREV.

Jaguar C-X75 concept car

Jaguar C-X75 concept car

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Using a combination of turbine and battery power, Techrules boasts that its creation will have 1,030 horsepower, and a total operating range of 1,242 miles.

Aside from a shadowy teaser image, though, it won't reveal any other details until the TREV's Geneva debut.

Techrules is a new automotive research firm based in Beijing, whose stated goal is to "develop disruptive powertrain technologies, according to British automotive magazine CAR.

ALSO SEE: Tesla, Faraday: Meet Atieva, Your Newest Electric-Car Rival (Dec 2015)

It's reportedly a subsidiary of TXR-S, which specializes in "aerospace, high-tech materials, and biogas," according to the magazine.

The connection to "biogas" could hint at a potential fuel source for the turbines, possibly something like the compressed natural gas (CNG) already used to power limited numbers of production cars and commercial vehicles.

Turbine range extenders have been experimented with before, most notably in the Jaguar C-X75 supercar concept that first appeared at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

Jaguar C-X75 concept car

Jaguar C-X75 concept car

Enlarge Photo
In its original form, the C-X75 used a pair of small turbines to generate electricity for four electric motors.

Those were supposed to produce a combined 780 hp, giving the C-X75 a top speed of 205 mph. It was also supposed to be capable of 68 miles of electric-only driving.

But when Jaguar tried to put the C-X75 into production, the turbines were swapped for a small piston engine.

MORE: Paris Motor Show: Jaguar C-X75 Turbine-Electric Supercar Concept! (Sep 2010)

That plan didn't work out either, and aside from a brief appearance in the James Bond movie Spectre, the C-X75 was consigned to history.

Maybe the TREV will do better, although it's always hard for new companies to break into the car industry.

Watch this space for more details on this mysterious electric supercar.


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