The Fiat Turbine
The Fiat Company of Italy was the first to design , build and test drive a Turbine powered car. Here is what happened:-
In 1954 Fiat was the first European company to develop a turbine powered car. Studies began in 1948 and ended with first road test on the 14th of April 1954 on Lingotto's oval track. Power plant was composed of a twin-impeller compressor powered by two separate turbines which fed combustion chamber. Main turbine, mounted just after the chamber was directly geared to wheels. No gearshift was required since turbine works like an hydraulic torque converter. Engine provided about 200HP at 22000 rpm. The Turbina had tubular chassis and independent wheels suspension, derived from Fiat 8V. On chassis'
sides, in central position laid two 50 litres fuel tanks but car's total weight was only 1000 kg. Typical 50's bodywork included two big tail fins and jet-like exhaust. Maximum esteemed speed was about 250 km/h, but the project was abandoned
immediately after first road tests.
Turbina's back, showing jet-like exhaust. Non-regenerative turbines like the one used for this prototype expel gases at several hundreds of °C. Imagine what may happen to scooter riders waiting behind this
car at a traffic light !!