LA Auto Show unveiling an Untraditional Hybrid – Electric Supercar

CMT-380 is what we are going to talk about. It is introduced by Capstone Turbine at the LA Auto Show. It is a conventional hybrid-electric supercar with normal batteries but under the hood lies the secret. It is powered by an ultra-low emission, range extending microturbine.Capstone microturbine is basically an ultra clean and quite jet engine.

Jim Crouse, Capstone’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing said, “The sleek-looking, high-performance supercar definitely raises hybrid’s cool factor several levels. 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.


The concept of high performance hybrid-electric microturbine car was developed by Richard Hilleman, Chief Creative Director of Electronic Arts. He was of course supported by Capstone turbine.

CMT-380 contains a Capstone C30 microturbine (30-Kilowatt) which rune on diesel or biodiesel. C30 microsturbine is so environment friendly that it does not even require an exhaust. It fulfills the strict clean air requirements of the California Air Resources Board or EPA 2010

It has Lithium Polymer battery cells that can be recharge at home and at any public recharging station. In one go the batteries can take CMT-380 as far as 80 miles and when the batteries reach a low the microturbine automatically fires and recharges the batteries, thus extending the driving range upto 500 miles.

Apart from the good battery cells, the diesel fueled microturbine produces extremely low emissions and requires less maintenance compared to conventional diesel powered combustion engines.

Darren Jamison, President and CEO of Capstone said that CMT-380 was in testing phase and very soon production will begin depending upon the response from LA Auto show, “Capstone’s CMT-380 is in the final conceptual design and first article-testing stage. 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.

According to Richard Hilleman, “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. 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."


CMT-380 microturbine has an electric generator and turbine components all mounted on a single shaft supported by air bearing. Therefore cooling the microturbine does not require and liquids or lubrication. Its ability to emit extremely low is because of its patented combustion system.

Its extra efficiency is because of the patented recuperator, an air to air heat exchanger. It works on the phenomenon of preheating the air going into the combustion chamber with the energy extracted from the exhaust, thus requiring less energy to ignite.

Some of the reasons why Capstone microturbine is renowned are:

  • No requirement of lubricant of oil for cooling as it uses air bearings.
  • Maintenance is extremely low.
  • They have a very high power-to-weight ratio, these microturbines can run up to 96,000 rpm.
  • They weigh less compared to other combustion engines.
  • Its exhaust emissions are extremely low because of lean premix operation and continuous combustion.

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