Let’s start by getting the negatives out of the way. We’ll explain everything about this tech monster in the next paragraph and what TREV really means. What I have to say first, is that just as every other concept designs go, this one is plain rubbish! Many pointed out that its styling cues and designs have been borrowed from other supercars, but allow me to make a statement of my own about its exterior. Whoever did the front end apparently has a lot of McLaren porn on his computer (especially P1), and he has just blatantly used it. Even from afar it looks like a P1 coming your way or if it was parked beside a pavement you’d think that it’s a P1. Even the logo (which is not similar to the Mclaren, thank god!) on the bumpers lips makes you do a double check. C’mon fellas!
Now, let’s delve a little deeper and see if this car has something different to offer us. Techrules is a new Beijing-based automaker that has a turbine-hybrid supercar concept with 1,030 horsepower, which had recently debuted at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Now there are 2 concept cars, the AT96 and the GT96. The AT96 runs on aviation kerosene, and the firm imagines it as a future track car. On the other hand, the GT96 is for the road and runs on bio-gas or natural gas. The company plans to put a production version on the road in a few years and then intends to build more attainable models.
The powertrain figures and patterns are indeed mind-boggling, to be honest. Six electric motors – one in each front wheel and two in each rear wheel – provide a projected total output of 1,030 HP and a colossal torque of 8542 NM. The run to 100 kmph is reported to be 2.5 seconds, and an electronic limiter keeps the top speed to 350 kmph. If that huge 1,030 HP output is hard enough to believe, the company also claims that the vehicle has a driving range of nearly 2000 kilometers, using the TREV range extender and 80 litres of aviation kerosene. Flabbergasted yet?
What makes this possible is the magical machine called the TREV, a short-form for Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle. To make this possible, the turbine – rotating at 96,000 revolutions per minute – produces 36 kW. Of this output, 30 kW powers the generator, with 6 kW directly powering auxiliary equipment such as the inverters. The 30 kW electrical output from the generator is used to charge the battery pack. The total weight of the TREV range extender system (micro-turbine, inverters, fuel pumps, air pumps, and generator, but excluding batteries and motors) is approximately 100 kg.
William Jin, the founder and CEO of Techrules, said: “The TREV system is a perfect combination of micro turbine and electric vehicle technologies. It is highly efficient, produces very low emissions and provides an optimal charging solution for electric vehicles.We believe it may redefine how the next generation of electric vehicles is powered.” Techrules Chief Technology Officer, Matthew Jin, explains: “In the conventional cars that dominated the 20th century, the combustion engine that converts a fuel’s chemical energy into a useful mechanical energy is also the driving engine that turns the wheels.”
To explain it in layman terms, TREV is an all-new proprietary, patent protected series hybrid powertrain system. It comprises a micro turbine generator, that is inspired by the technology which is commonly used in the global aviation industry and large-scale power generation industries. The turbine drives a generator which charges a battery. This in turn, provides electricity to drive the traction motors. Unlike many previously developed turbine powertrain systems, there is no direct electrical feed from the generator to the electric motors: the TREV system is purely a series hybrid range extender system.
So that’s a little complex and really not in a nutshell. It’s going to take them years to put this car on the road. I would love to see the TREV system in a production car and work flawlessly. I also hope they get a new design in place, because this design isn’t really getting any heartbeats racing. It will at least take them a year to put a car in place and maybe another year to start selling it. But we will be hoping they can win us over and prove us wrong.
We must say that it’s indeed a very good R&D experiment project. It is actually what a concept car must be like – not just fancy on the design but also brainy on the inside. Make a supercar with tree-hugging qualities? Everyone today has done it – Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren, Koenigsegg, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Bugat…. wait sorry not Bugatti, their supercars doesn’t give a damn about the environment! Even Lamborghini or Ford with the GT aren’t eco-hippies. Some want to move ahead into the future at warp speed. And some people like me, who are old-school, love riding a wave of low heavy torque with a background of exploding petrol and tyre smoke. It’s an ever changing environment and soon, we all might be in electric cars whizzing about! But will it be exciting or romantic as the growl of a V8 or the perfectly balanced symphony of a V12? We really don’t know. The future is exciting and right now we are at the peak of automotive engineering. What’s really going to happen to our cars? Well, companies like Techrules might know.
Image source – Autoblog