The Techrules Ren RS supercar will feature a turbine engin—something normally seen in jet aircraft.
When you think supercar maker, you normally don’t picture Chinese auto manufacturers. That may be about to change as automotive R&D company Techrules unveils the Ren RS supercar at Geneva this week.
Techrules has actually been going to Geneva for some time now, with the Ren being its showcase each time. In 2016, the company unveiled the GT96 and AT96 concept cars featuring their exclusive Turbine-Recharging Electric Vehicle (TREV) system. The idea here is to use a turbine to power an electric drivetrain, something that would normally be terribly energy inefficient as turbines aren’t too good at producing torque.
Things change when the turbine no longer has to turn a wheel, however. “With electric vehicles, an electric motor is used to drive the wheels, which effectively frees the combustion engine to exclusively convert chemical energy into mechanical energy and finally into electric energy,” explains Techrules CTO Matthew Jin. “This is a major breakthrough, making it possible for us to use the highly efficient turbine engine as a superb range extender on our vehicles.”
At the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Techrules unveiled the Ren using their turbine-electric drivetrain. Outside its unique power source, the Ren is a more run-of-the-mill supercar featuring a three-seat occupancy layout similar to McLaren’s line of cars.
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Now in 2018, Techrules unveils the track-only Ren RS, a bespoke supercar designed for one thing: speed. A carbon monocoque body provides lightness while the three seats are reduced to one along with a roll cage. The interior is like a Formula 1 car, and the power numbers are astronomical.
"The flagship version – with a high-power 28.4 kWh Lithium-Ion Polymer battery and with two motors at the front and four at the rear – delivers maximum power of 960kW (1,287 hp / 1,305 PS) with a range of 1170 km from 80 litres of diesel fuel (NEDC)," according to the Techrules release.
The Ren RS’s modular chassis will allow a somewhat more sane version of the same car. One electric motor per wheel will have a combined 858 hp and 1,150 lb-ft of torque.
The biggest, baddest version of the RS gets to 60 mph in less than three seconds and has a top speed of 205 mph.
With all this talk of using turbines for efficiency, the Ren RS is utterly conservative for a supercar. Mileage is 7.5/l per 100 km, or about 31 mpg, which is phenomenal in comparison to Bugattis and Paganis, but not so great in comparison to a Corolla.
Techrules will also be partnering with Chinese rail manufacturers to bring their electric turbine technology to other industries. But clearly, the best use is to make supercars. We hope that Techrules comes to that same realization too.