Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Flybrian

GM Advanced Design's Turbine EcoJet

Recommended Posts

FOR RELEASE: 2006-10-31

Turbine-Powered EcoJet Concept Began With Meeting, Sketches On A Napkin

Jay Leno, GM Advanced Design Studio Collaborated on 650-Horsepower Supercar That Runs on Bio-Diesel

Posted Image

LAS VEGAS - What would keep a group of automotive designers up all night? "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno, for starters, but not by his monologue or parade of Hollywood guests. This time it's because the late-night talk show host invited the General Motors Advanced Design Studio to help design a mid-engine, turbine-powered supercar called EcoJet. Leno and Ed Welburn, GM vice president of Global Design, introduced the car today at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show.

EcoJet's genesis goes back to a discussion between Leno, an avid car enthusiast and collector, and Bernard Juchli, the chief mechanic and caretaker of Leno's collection. Leno then turned to Welburn for design direction.

"A couple of paper napkins later, Ed had begun to capture the essence of the car," said Leno. "I've admired the work of GM's Design Studio in North Hollywood, Calif., and asked Ed if the studio's director, Frank Saucedo, and his guys could continue the design study,"

Welburn agreed, and a two-week sketching frenzy commenced as GM's designers began working after-hours with Leno's team on the project.

"EcoJet's esthetics were driven by aeronautical and jet-age influences," said Welburn. "It's a purpose-driven design that conveys power, capability and even danger, with a hint of Cadillac's sophisticated design vocabulary."

Borrowing design cues from jet aircraft and Formula One racecars, the supercar began to take shape under the watchful eyes of Leno and Welburn. A concurrent engineering program defined the vehicle's proportions and mechanics.

Leno relied on Juchli and the entire Big Dog team at his garage to turn the EcoJet vision into a reality.

"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," said Juchli, who constructed the car at Leno's facility.

The 650-horsepower (400 lb.-ft. of torque) Leno original is powered by a Honeywell LT-101 turbine engine that runs on bio-diesel fuel. 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.

EcoJet project partners

  • GM Advanced Design Studio, North Hollywood, Calif. - 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
  • Viper Technologies - wheel construction
Posted Image

ECOJET SPECIFICATIONS

Vehicle description:

Mid-engine, turbine-powered, two-seat supercar

Wheelbase (in / mm):

110 / 2795

Engine:

Honeywell LT-101

Horsepower @ % turbine speed):

650 @ 70

Torque (lb-ft @ % turbine speed):

400 @ 70

Fuel type:

Bio-diesel

Wheels:

20 x 10-in front

22 x 12-in rear

Tires:

255/35R20 front

305/30R22 rear

Track (in / mm):

66.9 / 1698 front

66.6 / 1692 rear

Overall length (in / mm):

184 / 4674

Overall width ( in / mm):

79.4 / 2024

Overall height (in / mm):

46.5 / 1180

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's good to be Jay Leno.

210775[/snapback]

Indeed, it is.

I wonder what that emblem is supposed to be.

The car looks nasty in the generic SEMA pic, but looks much better on the platform next to Welburn and Leno.

A shame it's not street legal, though. At least it doesn't appear to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks, umm, interesting. I can't say I really like it.

Edit: I just noticed that the front end looks like it would make a good snowplow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to see that some of the alternative fuels vehicles are able to crank out good numbers. Overall not a bad design in a Batman-cartoon kinda way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing idea. Bad execution. It's not horrible but they could've done a lot more to make it stand out. I don't understand why they would premiere this at SEMA. I guess they didn't feel confident showing it at a bigger autoshow. I wouldn't blame them if they felt that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow...and powered by a bio-diesel turbine? Pretty cool.

Wondering about the logo, though. Maybe its a potential new GM division...if the car gets produced and isn't just a one-off for Leno. I always wanted to see the General with its own supercar division.

Edited by AxelTheRed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow...and powered by a bio-diesel turbine?  Pretty cool.

Wondering about the logo, though.  Maybe its a potential new GM division...if the car gets produced and isn't just a one-off for Leno.  I always wanted to see the General with its own supercar division.

211017[/snapback]

If you actually read the description, it IS a one-off car for Leno, made at Leno's place, just with some collaboration with some GM engineers. They'd never produce more, and it's not some new division. It's just Leno's new toy, and something extra for GM to show off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We  Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×