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Mad Capstone gets turbine power. Image by Capstone.

Mad Capstone gets turbine power
Out of nowhere the LA show sprung this, the Capstone CMT-380 electric car, which uses a turbine for low emissions power.


News homepage -> Capstone news

Where did this come from? It's always nice when a motor show springs up a genuine surprise, rather than the often non-dramatic climax to a PR campaign that's been spinning for months. The Capstone CMT-380 is one such surprise.

Headed by Richard Hillemen, a millionaire director at video games giant Electronic Arts, the Capstone boasts genuine supercar looks and features a turbine - the sort of thing that powers jets. In reality it's all very sensible: a lithium ion battery pack sends juice to a motor that turns the wheels, but electricity is generated by a biodiesel micro-turbine, which boasts very low emissions and gives the car a claimed 500-mile range.

Yet, it will charge to 60mph in a claimed 3.9 seconds and has a 150mph top speed. On battery power alone the car runs emissions-free, of course, and will do so for 80 miles before the turbine kicks in. Essentially the principle is the same as used in the Chevy Volt - which is due in 2012. Unlike the Volt, though, the turbine generator doesn't need any lubricant, so it's environmentally sound and cheap to maintain.

The Capstone name comes from the company that makes the turbines, and it seems that the car is more than a motorshow flight of fancy; in 2010 there'll be up to 15 of these available as kit cars for enthusiastic green supercar pioneers to build for themselves. What's more, some of those 15 could come to the UK.

Mark Nichol - 21 Dec 2009

2010 Capstone CMT-380. Image by Capstone.2010 Capstone CMT-380. Image by Capstone.2010 Capstone CMT-380. Image by Capstone.2010 Capstone CMT-380. Image by Capstone. 

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