Turbine Engine Facts

The turbine engines that Chrysler designed for automotive use are based on the same principals as turbine engines used in aviation. The biggest design difference is the addition of regenerators. The regenerators are rotating heat exchangers that recover heat from the exhaust and use it to heat air entering the combustion chamber. The basic components of the turbine engine are a compressor, two sets of turbine blades (one to run the compressor and the other to drive the output shaft), fuel delivery, and ignition. As the turbine spins, it drives the compressor blades to compress incoming air. The compressed air is combined with fuel and ignited to drive the turbine blades. Unlike piston engines, the combustion process in a turbine is continuous. As a result, turbines can run on a variety of fuels such as gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and aviation jet fuel.

For automotive use, Chrysler used reduction gears to bring the output RPM's down to the same range as piston engines. In all of Chrysler's applications involving turbine engines, they were coupled with conventional automatic transmissions. The exhaust systems of turbine powered cars were nothing more than large ducts running under the chassis.

Turbine Engine Production

CR1 54-56 Plymouth Belvedere 4-door ~100 HP Poor fuel economy (13-14 MPG) No engine braking Slow spool up
CR2 56-57 56 Belvedere, 57 Fury Better regenerator Better fuel economy (18 MPG)
CR2A 60-61 60 Fury, 62 Fury(2), 62 Dart(2) 61 Dodge 2 1/2 ton stake Turboflite show car. 140 HP, 375lb-ft, adjustable nozzle blades
A831 63-66 63 Turbine Cars (50) 130 HP, 425 lb-ft much less lag.
A874 64 64 Plymouth(2) Same as A831 but with larger regenerators.
Gen6 64-73 Prototype Charger, 66 Coronet 73 B-Body sedans(3) Same as A875 but with split accessory drive.
Gen7 77 76 4-door Aspen, Concept F-body 80 Mirada 104 HP (could be raised to 125)

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