Entries have opened for the 2012 RAC Future Car Challenge, now in its third year after the event’s introduction in 2010.
The RAC Future Car Challenge is a 63-mile run from Brighton to London designed to challenge vehicles and drivers to use the least amount of energy possible to complete the cross-country trip. It’s run in the opposite direction to the famous London to Brighton veteran car run, and is held the day before the world renowned event: the two events ‘meet up’ on London’s Regent Street on the eve of the veteran car run.
In a twist on the London to Brighton run, the RAC Future Car Challenge is only for modern cars, either production cars or futuristic prototypes. Electric, hybrid, low-emission, hydrogen and standard internal combustion engine vehicles are all eligible to take part in the run.
The vehicles taking part showcase new technologies to improve economy and reduce emissions, together ensuring the future of the car. These could well be the vehicles we’ll be driving around in in as little as five years time.
Many of us take the car for granted, but many of us couldn’t live without an automobile. With fuel prices only heading one way and the finite resources we need to power our cars running out, new technologies need to be pioneered to keep us on the move. That’s why the RAC Future Car Challenge is important.
All sources of power can be compared, as the organisers have developed a standardisation formula, which standardises ‘energy usage’ as kWh. Using this formula, it was an electric car that won last year’s Challenge.
The T.27 designed by Gordon Murray – the brains behind the famous McLaren F1 supercar – took the spoils, with energy consumption of just 7.0 kWh over the 63-mile course. Its next closest competitor was an electric smart fortwo with 8.3kWh, using nearly 20 per cent more energy than the T.27 needed.
To us, cars like the T.27 might look odd and impractical, but it’s through initiatives like the Future Car Challenge that these prototype technologies become mainstream technology for people needing to do mundane daily tasks like commute to and from work.
Keep an eye out for more updates on the 2012 RAC Future Car Challenge, including reports from the event itself. Remember, the car’s you see this year could be your daily driver in just a few years time.