Take a sexy sports car body design. Toss under the hood a hybrid system which can use biodiesel. Mix convincingly with a “microturbine” which gives the auto a lot of spunk. What do you end up with? The prototype CMT-380 from Capstone Turbine Corp., being unveiled this week at the LA Auto Show.

The CMT-380, developed via a concept from an employee of video game company Electronic Arts, does 0-60 in 3.9 seconds and hits a top speed of 150 MPH. It isn’t a Tesla exactly, but it damm well can give one of those a run for the money. This “hybrid-electric supercar,” which houses the microtrubine inside a “a sleek Factory Five Racing GTM body,” makes uses of lithium-polymer battery cells that can be recharged as necessary. It operates in electric mode for a range of up to 80 miles, at which time the special “microtrubine” technology kicks in to recharge the batteries on the fly to a maximum driving range of 500 miles per tank of fuel.

image via Capstone Turbine
image via Capstone Turbine

What exactly is a microturbine? As Capstone explains it, this bio-diesel fueled system runs so clean it reportedly “does not require any exhaust after treatment to meet stringent clean air requirements of the California Air Resources Board or EPA 2010.” It makes use of a special combustion system to do this, featuring “an electric generator and turbine components mounted on a single shaft that are supported by air bearings.” It also includes an “air-to-air heat exchanger, which extracts energy from the exhaust stream and recycles it to preheat air coming into the combustion chamber” for better efficiency.

Capstone CMT-380 [via press release]

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