Does the Batmobile hold the key to the engine of the future?
A new concept car to be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show could herald a new era in efficient engine design -- by placing a jet engine under the hood.
A new concept car to be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show could herald a new era in efficient engine design - by placing a jet engine under the hood.
Capstone Turbine Corp. plans to unveil the CMT-380, a hybrid-electric vehicle powered by traditional batteries and a range-extending "microturbine" engine. Claiming to be capable of 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in under four seconds, the CMT-380 is billed as a successful example of the integration of gas turbine power and hybrid design.
The hybrid runs predominantly on power from lithium-polymer batteries, with the turbine providing enough recharge capacity on-the-go for a further 500 miles on a single fuel tank. If the predictions are correct and achievable, the CMT-380 would easily outstrip the range of any hybrid model on the market. Capstone claims that the emissions are clean enough to meet stringent U.S. government clean air requirements.
The company plans to gauge interest at Los Angeles, traditionally viewed as a forward-looking show. Based on the response, a limited production plan will be finalized, allowing Capstone to further explore the potential of the technology with automakers from around the world. Earlier this year, UK-based Langford Performance Engineering confirmed that it had successfully integrated a microturbine into a Ford S-Max vehicle.
"It's not in Capstone's business plan to start manufacturing complete cars," said Darren Jamison, Capstone President and CEO. "However, the limited production CMT-380 and Langford Whisper hybrid-demonstration vehicle are intended to showcase the technology and demonstrate the value proposition of microturbines as electric-vehicle range extenders."
Turbines are not new in automotive production, although the potential for their use as hybrid range-extenders is only just becoming clear. Chrysler, General Motors, Toyota and Honda have all released concepts or prototypes using gas turbines for power, and the production department of the 1989 Batman film built a working gas turbine vehicle as a prop.
Life & Style blogs
Plus live in a folly tower and Towcester growth
Plus how much you need to earn to rent in London, and new homes figures
Plus where The Apprentices live, house price growth outside London, and househunter numbers
- 1 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 'Swivel-gate': David Cameron goes to war with the press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: This is a senior appointment with huge potent...
£28000 - £31500 per annum + benefits: Randstad Education Newcastle: Permanent ...
£50000 - £58000 per annum + Benefits and Bonus: Progressive Recruitment: SAP F...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + BENS: Progressive Recruitment: Drupal Developer A ...