Techrules will be displaying its latest concept supercar during the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show. This all-wheel drive two-seater will have the brand’s very own TREV technology. For this concept car, the brand placed its turbine in front of its rear wheels but behind its passenger cabin.
This makes it a ‘mid-engined’ electric vehicle. The company also revealed that there will be two designs for this electric vehicle with each design having a different configuration of its TREV system. These two designs provide an image of how turbine-recharging supercars can appear once it starts full production as the first supercar in China.
The first is the AT96 where the ‘AT’ means ‘Aviation Turbine.’ This means that the turbine has been constructed in a way that it will run on liquid fuel like that of gasoline, diesel, and even aviation kerosene. It is a track-focused version which has a large rear wing, allowing downforce and straight-line stability especially during high speed cornering.
The second is GT96 which stands for ‘Gas Turbine.’ It runs on gaseous fuel like natural gas and biogas and designed to be a road-going hypercar. This supercar already has plug-in charging capability incorporated which makes it fitting for markets where residential off-street parking or public charging networks are already available.
Using the aviation turbine configuration of the AT96, the specialist vehicle engineering partners of Techrules located in the UK and Italy created the first supercar development prototype. Initial testing for this supercar was done at UK’s Silverstone race circuit and started in February 2016.
It is expected that when running solely on the plug-in battery, this supercar concept can reach up to 150 kilometers. Using the TREV range extender and the 80 liters of aviation kerosene, the actual range can reach more than 2,000 kilometers.
When the motors are combined, total maximum output is 768 kW (1,030 bhp / 1,044 PS). Peak torque meanwhile is expected to reach more than 8,600 Nm (6,300 lb ft). As result of this power, the supercar concept offers performance that more than equals many of the current hypercars. While maximum speed has been electronically restricted to 350 km/h, it can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.5 seconds.
The brand projects its fuel consumption to be 0.18 l/100 km and a full charge under the TREV system that results in fuel consumption of around 4.8 l/100 km. At present, this development vehicle has a kerb weight of 1,380 kg but the brand aims to have the dry weight of the future production supercar at just below 1,000 kg.
At the middle of this supercar concept is the carbon-fibre monocoque which gives excellent torsional rigidity in addition to the passenger safety. The entire body structure and even the dihedral doors are made of lightweight carbon fiber.
Its rear subframe is equipped with primary range extender components like the direct ancillary systems and the micro turbine generator. Even the rear motors and inverters and the cooling systems of the battery pack and electric traction motors are in the subframe as well. The longitudinal T-shaped battery that is under its carbon-fiber body goes through the car’s central spine. This gives the passenger cabin a look that’s similar to a transmission tunnel in rear-wheel drive and front-engine car.
To ensure that the cells operate at optimum temperature, the battery pack has been liquid cooled. The battery pack itself has 2,376 individual 18650 cylindrical cells that have the Lithium-Manganese-Oxide chemistry (LiMn). This battery pack has a 20 kWh usable capacity and 720 V voltage.
Due to the smart battery management system, it is possible to charge the battery pack in 40 minutes using the turbine generator. Overall, the supercar concept uses six electric traction motors where each has its very own dedicated inverter and weighs 13 kg.
One motor drives each of the front wheels while a pair of motors drives each of the rear wheels. Since two smaller motors run each of the rear wheel rather than a single larger motor, this makes it more efficient to pack and even simpler to mount on its monocoque. Due to the six-motor layout that provides independent power to each wheel, this makes it the perfect arrangement for torque vectoring. All of these are achieved through an electronic control unit.
As a result of the four-way torque vectoring, maximum cornering stability is ensured even at high speed. It even removes the need to have complex and heavy mechanical differentials. Since the speed and power provided are already amazing, it was also important to consider the stopping power. Rapid retardation is possible due to the front having six-piston calipers with 405 mm ventilated discs while the rear has the four-piston calipers with 380 ventilated discs.
Currently, the brand intends to manufacture and then sell the TREV-powered supercar in low volumes over the succeeding years. The reason for the low volume production is to ensure that the brand first perfects the process of its TREV system. It will also allow them to study its actual performance under real world conditions and improve the system further and eventually have higher volume production.
By having the TREV technology in its very own supercar, the brand will be able to display that it is truly qualified to provide excellent dynamic performance using environment-friendly technology. While Techrules remains to be in the business of automotive research and development, it hopes to become a car manufacturer that will start the move of the Chinese car industry to one that offers performance standards and world-class quality.
Once the low volume supercar is officially launched, the brand intends to develop its current capabilities in order to achieve the next step; that is, to develop the technology necessary for high volume applications like the sub-compact, compact B-segment and compact C segment cars. They will then be launched to the market a few years after that.