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Jet Powered Hybrid

Written by Bryan Johannsen

At the LA Auto Show the curtain was pulled back on a micro-turbine powered, prototype hybrid supercar. The CMT-380, which features the body and chassis of the Factory Five GTM kit car, is a hybrid that can reach sixty miles per hour in under 4 seconds and has a cruising range of over 500 miles. Like the Chevy Volt the CMT-380 is a series hybrid, the wheels are only powered by the electric motors while the gas engine (in this case turbine) acts as a generator, only the CMT-380 is twice as fast and goes twice as far.

The real genius behind the design is the turbine engine, unlike the gasoline engine in most hybrids a turbine can run on just about anything that will burn. Jet fuel is kerosene so the CMT-380 could fill up at any aircraft carrier but the designers at the show talked about running it on diesel or biodiesel. Drive down to the local burger joint and fill up at the fry vat before rocketing off to the electronically limited 150 mile per hour top speed.

Not only are the speed and range of the car surprising, the designer isn't who you'd expect either. Richard Hilleman isn't a name most people would recognize but millions of people endorse his work every year. Hilleman is the creative director at Electronic Arts and one of the creators of the Madden NFL video game series. In his spare time he is an electric car hobbyist, he converted a vintage Porsche 550 Spyder into a battery electric vehicle with 200 horsepower.

Hilleman and Capstone Turbine worked together to make the drive train and have put it in the GTM kit for the auto show circuit but they have no plans to manufacture the car themselves, they are hoping to sell the drive train technology to other manufacturers. For now the only one driving a matte black, jet powered car will be Batman.

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Comments to date: 1. Page 1 of 1.

Leonard   Calgary 

11:08pm on Saturday, April 17th, 2010

The Batmobile can travel close to the speed of sound.

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