Turbine-powered supercar

A new hybrid electric supercar is powered by traditional batteries and a low-emission range-extending microturbine developed by Capstone Turbine Corporation.

The CMT-380 supercar, which is presently in the design and test phase, was developed in partnership with the chief creative director of Electronic Arts, Richard Hilleman. A prototype of the car is to make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show between 2-13 December this year.

‘The CMT-380’s design performance numbers speak for themselves: 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds, a top speed of 150mph and an unheard-of driving range of up to 500 miles on a single tank of fuel, all with ultra-low exhaust emissions that rival any hybrid on the market today,’ said Jim Crouse, Capstone’s executive vice-president of sales and marketing.

The microturbine-enabled hybrid supercar features a Capstone C30 (30kW) microturbine that runs on diesel or biodiesel, housed inside a sleek Factory Five Racing GTM body. The Capstone C30 microturbine is so clean it does not require any exhaust after treatment to meet the stringent clean air requirements of the California Air Resources Board or EPA 2010.

The CMT-380 features lithium-polymer battery cells that can be charged at home or at a public recharging station. While driving, the sports car can operate on 100 per cent battery power in zero-emissions mode for a range of up to 80 miles. When the batteries reach a predetermined state of discharge, the Capstone C30 microturbine fires up and recharges the batteries on the fly to extend the driving range up to 500 miles.

‘We plan to finalise very soon a limited production plan, in part, based on interest received at the LA Auto Show,’ said Darren Jamison, president and chief executive of Capstone.

Earlier this year, a C30 liquid-fuelled microturbine was successfully integrated into a Ford S-Max people carrier in the UK by Langford Performance Engineering.