|The Eco-Jet biodiesel turbine car.|
General Motors Advanced Design Studio and Jay Leno and his garage’s team have designed a biodiesel-fueled, turbine-powered concept car they call the “Eco-Jet.” Leno and Ed Welburn, GM Vice President of Global Design, introduced the car at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show.
The 650 hp (485 kW) supercar is powered by a Honeywell LT-101 turbine engine (a well-established engine often applied in helicopters) that develops 400 lb-ft (542 Nm) of torque. The engine sits in a modified Corvette Z06 hydroformed aluminum frame with aluminum and magnesium structural and chassis components. The vehicle’s shell is an advanced construction of carbon fiber over Kevlar.
We thought we pushed the creative envelope with the '66 twin turbo Toronado project with GM, but this turbine-powered monster is a whole new level of complexity.—Bernard Juchli, the chief mechanic and caretaker of Leno’s collection
Leno, an avid car enthusiast and collector, turned to Wellburn and GM for design direction following discussions on the idea with Juchli.
Project partners for the Eco-Jet include:
- GM Advanced Design Studio: conceptual and build design, engineering, digital design and fabrication support;
- Alcoa: chassis and wheel engineering;
- Metalcrafters: body engineering and construction;
- Honeywell: engine supplier;
- Intermountain Turbine: engine builders;
- Dana: chassis supplier;
- BASF: paint and finishing supplies;
- GE Plastics: Lexan windows; and
- Viper Technologies: wheel construction.