The Rover JET1 Turbine Car

The story of the gas turbine engine in cars began in 1950 in Great Britain in the form of the Rover JET1. Production on the JET1 began in 1946 as Rover had experience in the production of the first working turbojet engine. Frank Whittle had come up with the design of the original turbojet during the 1930s.

It was hoped that using the turbine motor – smoother at all speeds and featuring considerably fewer moving parts – would represent a breakthrough for passenger cars. Turbines can run on various types of fuel, start easier in cold climates and were thought to produce vastly superior fuel economy than piston engine designs.

The hope was that turbine engines would represent the powertrain of the future and prove reliable and cheaper to operate.

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