Capstone Turbine CMT-380
Capstone Turbine CMT-380. Click image to enlarge

Chatsworth, California – Capstone Turbine will unveil its CMT-380 prototype at the Los Angeles Auto Show, a high-performance, hybrid-electric supercar powered by a low-emission, range-extending microturbine engine and traditional batteries.

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

“The sleek-looking, high-performance supercar definitely raises hybrid’s cool factor several levels,” said Jim Crouse, executive vice-president of sales and marketing. He said that the CMT-380 is capable of zero to 96 km/hr in 3.9 seconds, with a top speed of 241 km/h and a driving range of up to 804 km on a tank of fuel.

Video game creator Richard Hilleman developed the concept for the vehicle with support from Capstone Turbine, a technology manufacturer of microturbine energy systems. The car features a 30-kilowatt Capstone C30 microturbine that runs on diesel or biodiesel, along with a Factory Five Racing GTM body. The company said that the engine is so clean, it does not require any exhaust after-treatment to meet clean air requirements of the California Air Resources Board for 2010.

The CMT-380 uses lithium-polymer battery cells that can be charged at home or at a public recharging station. While driving, the car can operate on 100 per cent battery power in zero-emissions mode for a range of up to 128 km. When the batteries reach a predetermined state of discharge, the microturbine fires up and recharges the batteries while driving, to extend the driving range to its full 804 km. The engine requires less maintenance than traditional combustion engines, and produces ultra-low emissions.

“Capstone’s CMT-380 is in the final conceptual design and first article-testing stage,” said Darren Jamison, president and CEO of Capstone. “Soon we plan to finalize a limited production plan, in part, based on interest from the L.A. 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.”

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