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Electric Sports Performance For RAC Future Car Challenge

6-5-2011
With little over a month since the announcement of the second RAC Future Car Challenge taking place on Saturday 05 November this year, the opening list of vehicles taking part reads more like the starting grid of a motor race than a competition for low-­energy vehicles.

The Royal Automobile Club event has also received the backing of three-­times Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart, who commented:

"The motor vehicle in modern times has enjoyed continuous development. Abuse of energy however, has become unacceptable to many. To encourage better use of this great currency, I congratulate the Royal Automobile Club in their initiative to promote new ways of achieving results for the motorised community".

First entries received for the 2011 event provides a striking line-­up of EV sports cars from Radical (1), Tesla (4), Delta (3), Vortex (2) and Vince Nemesis (5).

The Radical SRZero supercar EV entry is from Imperial College London.

In 2010 a team of Imperial undergraduates, postgraduates and alumni drove the all-­electric Radical from Alaska, down the Pan-­ American Highway, finishing at Ushuaia in Argentina, the world's most southerly city, passing through 14 countries in 140 days.

The team used the journey to demonstrate that electric vehicles have outstanding performance and that they are a viable low-­carbon alternative to combustion engine vehicles.

"Whenever we stopped in a city we tried to get the message out there," says Clemens Lorf, Racing Green Endurance team member and Imperial graduate.

"It was a core feature of the project to get students excited about careers in science and technology.

If we are to tackle the challenges facing us in the 21st century such as climate change, then we need students to be excited about pursuing these careers.

We are delighted to be taking part in the RAC Future Car Challenge" The Tesla Roadster is well-­known as the first production electric sports car as well as being one of the fastest, but it has a close competitor in the shape of the Vince Nemesis.

The British built Vince benefits from a similar lightweight structure to the Tesla but uses a different cell and motor arrangement for an equally-­impressive turn of speed - 170mph makes it possibly the world's fastest electric vehicle.

Their rival comes in the shape of the Delta E4 Electric Coupe which has a high-­tech carbon fibre design with impressive performance on electric power: not only is it capable of over 200 miles on a single charge but can also carry four people and accelerate to 62mph in less than five seconds - all with zero tailpipe emissions.

The Delta E4 will be launched next month at its birthplace, Silverstone Circuit -­‐ The Home of British Motor Racing.

The Vortex EV Coupe has been built from the ground up at its base in Warwickshire, it uses a lightweight, pared-­back design to achieve remarkable acceleration - with a target weight of under 600kg the Vortex Sports Electric will be capable of blasting 0 to 60mph in under six seconds.

Although these confirmed entries are electric, the RAC Future Car Challenge is also open to hybrid, hydrogen and low-emission internal combustion engine cars and light-commercial vehicles.

Last year's entry list included one-­‐off prototypes and future production vehicles from manufacturers such as Honda, Mercedes-­Benz, Toyota, Nissan, Vauxhall, BMW, Skoda and Volkswagen, as well as current production cars offering the highest levels of efficiency regardless of their powertrain.

The challenge requires entrants to cover a 60-­mile route from Brighton to London, mirroring the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, also organised by The Royal Automobile Club, culminating at the finish on London's Regent Street, closed to normal traffic for the occasion and lined with over a quarter of a million spectators.

For 2011 the total number of entries permitted has been increased to 90 and the diversity of the entry list has been recognised by the organisers with a range of awards in 15 different vehicle categories as well as by power source.

The overall winner will be the car that uses the least amount of energy over the route.

With the speed and power of some of these cars remember to get gap insurance for those unexpected mishaps, it's better to be safe then sorry.