Manufacturer And Celebrity Support - 2011 RAC Future Car Challenge


There are now more than 60 entries for the Royal Automobile Club's RAC Future Car Challenge from Brighton to London on Saturday 5 November 2011. Recent additions include two Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 diesel development cars entered via Robert Bosch GB and What Car? magazine, respectively. Peugeot UK has also entered a Peugeot 508 e-HDi (one of the lowest CO2 emissions upper-medium sized cars) and a Peugeot iOn - which was recently a winner at the Next Green Car Awards 2011. 

Proton is sending three development cars direct from Malaysia - an Exora REEV, a Saga EV and a Persona Elegance REEV which are all 2012 models. Another rare vehicle on the entry list is a BMW ActiveE, entered by BMW UK, an all electric powered version of the BMW 1-series coupe. 

Other major motor manufacturers who have entered models not yet in production include Vauxhall Motors with three Amperas, Chevrolet's Volt and, from Toyota, a Prius PHEV, an Auris Hybrid and a Highlander FCHV (Hydrogen). Renault UK has entered two EV Kangoos and a third electric vehicle yet to be revealed. Volkswagen Group UK's three-car entries are a low emission Passat BlueMotion - a model that holds a Guinness World Record for the longest distance travelled by a standard production passenger car on a single tank of fuel - and two 2013 model year Golf Blue-e-motion EVs, the wining car of last year's inaugural Future Car Challenge.

Many smaller manufacturers, academic institutions, privately owned firms and individuals have enthusiastically supported the RAC Future Car Challenge. There are entries from Gordon Murray Design, Zytek Automotive, Imperial College London, Eindhoven University of Technology, EEMS Accelerate and Windreich of Germany. 

Led by energy and climate change consultants AEA, the EEMS Accelerate programme is a consortium of specialist UK manufacturers brought together to design, develop, demonstrate and realize the potential of electric high performance cars. These include the Delta E-4 Coupé with a potential range of up to 200 miles, Ecotricity's Nemesis which has a top speed of 170mph and the stunning Lightning GT sportscar with a quick charge potential of ten minutes. The EEMS Accelerate vehicles are also currently on the road throughout the UK, undertaking 12 months of "real-life" road tests as part of the Technology Strategy Board's £25m Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator programme.

Well-known motor sport personalities or celebrities will drive many of the entries. Former F1 designer, Gordon Murray, will drive one of his Gordon Murray Design cars while TV presenter and magazine columnist, Quentin Willson, is taking part in a Fiat 500 entered by Goodyear. The British Gas entered Nissan Leaf EV will have Smooth Radio's Mark Goodier at the wheel and Radio 2 presenter, Sally Boazman (aka Sally Traffic), will present the 'People's Choice Award'.

Meanwhile, Grand Designs TV programme presenter, Kevin McCloud, will drive a Delta E-4 Coupé, one of the carbon fibre bodied electric four-seaters built by Silverstone-based Delta Motorsport. McLoud says: "The RAC Future Car Challenge is all about showing what a more energy-efficient, cleaner and healthier motoring future could look like and I'm very excited to be able to take part in an event that demonstrates how environmentally friendly cars can be sleek and sexy as well as whole-grain organic." 

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