Ever since jet engines have started to power airplanes, people began having fantasies about putting them in cars.
While some automakers tested the formula, it didn’t quite catch on. However, turbines seem to be making a comeback in the auto industry, albeit in very different configurations. Meanwhile, jet-powered cars continue to haunt the dreams of people worldwide, people like this guy from Russia.
Endowed with serious technical skills, Igor Negoda managed to transplant the TS-21 Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) of a MIG-23 fighter jet onto a much more peaceful platform, the BMW E30 3 Series. Well, it might have been peaceful before; now it’s a flame-spitting, asphalt-melting beast.
The language barrier prevents us from bringing you a detailed look at the technical part, but from what we understand the TS-21 turbine’s original purpose was to start the MIG-23’s main engine. However, in the E30 3 Series, it’s good enough to ensure propulsion on its own hooked to the car’s original transmission.
It doesn’t really qualify as powerful with its 60 horsepower, but it delivers plenty of torque — 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) on the output shaft. It also produces a lot of smoke, not to mention the noise. The whine of the turbine turns a quiet neighborhood into a military air base at the flick of a switch.
Now, you might wonder how does one get hold of a TS-21 turbine in Russia. The answer might surprise you: Igor got it for free from one of his YouTube subscribers. If you’re interested, he’s got two more to give away for free.