Microturbine supercar debuts at auto show

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - Capstone Turbine Corp. is pushing traditional hybrid-electric vehicle barriers with the introduction of the CMT-380, a high-performance, hybrid-electric supercar powered by traditional batteries and an untraditional, ultra-low emission, range-extending microturbine.

The Capstone microturbine is essentially an ultra-clean and quiet jet engine under the hood, the company states.

The prototype hybrid-electric supercar with microturbine technology will debut at the LA Auto Show December 2 through 13.

"The sleek-looking, high-performance supercar car definitely raises hybrid's cool factor several levels," says Jim Crouse, Capstone's executive vice president of Sales and Marketing. "The CMT-380's design performance numbers speak for themselves: 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, 150 mph top speed and an unheard of driving range of up to 500 miles on a single tank of fuel, all with ultra-low exhaust emissions that rival any hybrid on the market today.


Electronic Arts Chief Creative Director Richard Hilleman, creator of popular video games, developed the concept for the high-performance hybrid-electric microturbine vehicle with support from Capstone Turbine, a leading clean technology manufacturer of microturbine energy systems.

Capstone and Hilleman's microturbine hybrid supercar features a Capstone C30 (30-kilowatt) microturbine that runs on diesel or biodiesel, which is housed inside a sleek Factory Five Racing GTM body. The Capstone C30 microturbine is so clean it does not require any exhaust after treatment to meet stringent clean air requirements of the California Air Resources Board or EPA 2010.

The CMT-380 features lithium-polymer battery cells that can be charged at home or at a public recharging station. While driving, the sports car can operate on 100 percent battery power in zero-emissions mode for a range of up to 80 miles. When the batteries reach a pre-determined state of discharge, the Capstone C30 microturbine quietly fires up and recharges the batteries on-the-fly to extend the driving range up to 500 miles.

The diesel-fueled C30 microturbine requires less maintenance than traditional combustion engines and produces ultra-low exhaust emissions.

"Capstone's CMT-380 is in the final conceptual design and first article-testing stage," says Darren Jamison, Capstone president and CEO. "Soon we plan to finalize a limited production plan, in part, based on interest from the LA Auto Show. We anticipate customers will be a select group of individuals who appreciate its many innovative high-performance and high-technology driving characteristics, long driving range and ultra-low emissions."

"Not only does this car look great and is fun to drive, but its low-maintenance, high-efficiency turbine engine makes it a stress-free, no-compromise hybrid," says Richard Hilleman, CMT-380 co-creator. "The CMT-380 is perfect for people who want it all.

These kinds of customers value a high level of driving performance, but also are concerned about social issues such as reducing greenhouse emissions and limiting our country's dependence on foreign oil."

Capstone Turbine is a leading producer of clean-and-green, highly efficient and reliable microturbines. Capstone's 30-kilowatt microturbines are installed in hybrid electric buses, trolleys and transit shuttles around the world.

Earlier this year, a C30 liquid-fueled microturbine was successfully integrated into a Ford S-Max people carrier in the United Kingdom by Langford Performance Engineering Ltd.

Capstone has shipped more than 5,000 microturbines worldwide, which produce energy ranging from 30-kilowatts up to 5 megawatts and are supplying power at sites around the world.

Microturbine efficiency increases when used in Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and Combined Cooling, Heat and Power (CCHP) applications. These applications use waste heat energy produced by the microturbines to recapture and heat water or buildings, or to run through an absorption chiller to create air conditioning.


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