Hybrid Kinetic electric luxury car, with turbine range extender, to be built in China


Pininfarina H600 concept, 2017 Geneva auto show

Pininfarina H600 concept, 2017 Geneva auto show

Enlarge Photo

Several Chinese or Chinese-backed automotive startups are currently trying to replicate the success of Tesla by designing and selling their own luxury electric cars.

But Hybrid Kinetic likely predates most of them.

Started by the founder of Chinese automaker Brilliance, the company made headlines in 2010, when it announced plans to build hybrid cars in Montgomery, Alabama.

DON'T MISS: Pininfarina teams up with Hybrid Kinetic to debut H600 extended-range electric sedan

It slipped off the radar after that, but reemerged at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show earlier this month with a range-extended electric luxury sedan concept.

Called the H600, it uses a turbine as its range extender, and its shape was designed by famed Italian firm Pininfarina.

If Hybrid Kinetic has its way, a production version of this car will go on sale in the U.S. and China in 2019 or 2020, reports Automotive News (subscription required).

Pininfarina H600 concept, 2017 Geneva auto show

Pininfarina H600 concept, 2017 Geneva auto show

Enlarge Photo

The concept is "85 to 90 percent" identical to the planned production version, Hybrid Kinetic board member Carter Yeung told the industry trade journal.

Rather than revisit its plans for a U.S. factory, Hybrid Kinetic plans to build the H600 in China.

It hopes to build "well over" 200,000 cars a year within five to 10 years of the start of production, Yeung told Automotive News.

ALSO SEE: Another Day, Another Ambitious Hybrid/EV Start-Up Shows Up (Aug 2010)

The concept is powered by electric motors rated at a combined 804 horsepower, and has a claimed range of around 620 miles on both battery and turbine power.

The turbine is designed to run on a variety of fuels, including gasoline, diesel, and hydrogen, according to Hybrid Kinetic.

Press materials distributed by Pininfarina said the 4,122-pound H600 concept can do 0 to 62 mph in 2.9 seconds, and reach a top speed of 155 mph.

Pininfarina H600 concept, 2017 Geneva auto show

Pininfarina H600 concept, 2017 Geneva auto show

Enlarge Photo

Other companies have experimented with turbine range extenders, although so far no such system has made it into a mass-market production vehicle.

A pair of small turbines were used in the initial concept version of the stillborn Jaguar C-X75 supercar, but were replaced with a conventional piston engine.

CHECK OUT: Turbine Range-Extended Plug-In Supercar Headed For Geneva Show (Feb 2016)

Another Chinese startup—Techrules—showed two turbine range-extended supercar concepts in Geneva last year, and unveiled what it claims is a production-ready version at the Swiss show this year.

In addition to moving forward with production of the H600, Hybrid Kinetic says it will unveil two more models at the upcoming Shanghai Motor Show.

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