Chinese startup Techrules unveiled its promised electric supercar concept at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. In fact, it unveiled two versions of the TREV, which is short for Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle.
Both versions are powered by electricity, but use backup engines as generators, like the Chevrolet Volt. Unlike the Volt, though, the engines in these supercars are turbines. Billed as China’s first supercar, Techrules claims it began testing a TREV prototype at Britain’s Silverstone race track last month.
That prototype is based on the TREV AT96 concept. “AT” stands for “aviation turbine,” and refers to the fact that the turbine in this car can run on liquid aviation fuels like kerosene, diesel, and gasoline. Techrules also unveiled a GT96 “gas turbine” version in Geneva, which runs on biogas or natural gas. Its styling is also more indicative of what a planned production TREV supercar could look like, Techrules says.
Regardless of what is powering it, Techrules claims the turbine-electric powertrain is good for 1,030 horsepower and 6,300 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers manage to stand out even at a Geneva show packed with outrageous supercars like the Bugatti Chiron and Lamborghini Centenario. So do the performance figures: Techrules boasts of 0 to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds, and a top speed electronically restricted to 217 mph.
To achieve those remarkable feats, the TREV uses six electric motors. Each front wheel is powered by a single motor, while each rear wheel gets two. A 20-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack stores the electricity, and can be charged from a plug, as in conventional electric cars. Techrules previously quoted a combined range of over 1,200 miles on both turbine and battery power.
Techrules says it plans to begin production of a low-volume supercar using a version of the TREV turbine-electric powertrain “within a couple of years,” and then follow that up with a higher-volume city car. Given the not-so-stellar track record of both automotive startups and automotive turbine technology, though, don’t be surprised if this pair of concepts is all we see of Techrules.