Pininfarina is using a small diesel-fueled turbine as a range extender for the Cambiano concept.
The turbine weighs half as much as an internal combustion engine delivering an equivalent 50kW/68hp power, which can drive the wheels or recharge the battery, Andrea Maria Benedetto, Pininfarina's head of product and process development said.
"We decided to use diesel for the turbine because its emissions are so clean that we could consider it a future Euro 7 compliant powertrain," Benedetto added.
Benedetto, a former Fiat and Toyota Europe product engineer, said turbines are not suitable to power a passenger car entirely, but work well in connection with an electricity generator.
Turbines takes time to reach the required revving level, longer than modern turbo lag. Used to recharge a battery at constant revving speed, turbines are employed at their maximum efficiency.
As the turbine needs ventilation only when active, the Cambiano's front grille remains closed most of the time, making the car nose cleaner and the drag coefficient better when driving in electric mode.
When needed, three winglets in the grille open to provide air to the turbine.
The Cambiano has an electric motor for each wheel, each delivering 60kW that peaks at 150kW for short periods. Maximum output is limited by the battery capacity to 500kW, equivalent to 680hp.
Thanks to four individual motors, the car does not need an electronic stability program, because optimal stability is assured by the torque vectoring control of each wheel.
The drivetrain setup offers supercar performance with CO2 emissions of just 45 grams per kilometer.
Pininfarina says the car has an 800km range including 205km in pure electric mode. It has a top speed of 250kph with short-time peaks at 275kph and acceleration from 0 to 100kph in 4.2 seconds.
The Cambiano is named after Pininfarina's home city near Turin.