More reports on: Automotive, Features (automotive), Environment
Chocolate soup for the automobile soul news
12 September 2009

Chocolate is an energy source, sure, but automobile fuel, it isn't. Until now. Using an eclectic mix of recycled materials and bio-waste, engineers at the University of Warwick have succeeded in creating what they call the 'greenest racing car'. By Anu Warrier

Chocolate and wine. Carrots, flax seed, soy beans and potatoes. Sounds like a grocery list? Well, it is indeed a list of sorts, just not what you would expect. Only Caractacus Potts could have dreamed up something so bizarre. Engineers from the University of Warwick seem to have taken lessons from the eccentric fictional inventor.

Photo: University of Warwick
Part of a project designed to push green technology to its limits, the Warwick manufacturing group aims to show that going 'green' can be fun, even sexy. They believe it is the greenest car in the world, and that 'green' does not have to be synonymous with 'boring'.

Using recycled materials, and with support from over 50 companies, the design team headed by Dr Kerry Kirwan has created a car for just 500,000. And not just any old car, but a racing car capable of taking on the world's finest.

Unveiling his creation at the annual conference of the British Science Association, Dr Kirwan is confident that his innovative creation will not embarrass him. So confident, in fact, that he is entering his car in a Formula 3 championship race at the iconic Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.

While a poor performance by this car will only encourage those who think that motor racing and sustainability cannot work, Dr Kirwan remains optimistic. He hasn't entered his baby in the race to come last.

The car's chassis has been reclaimed from a scrapped vehicle. So also its 2 litre BMW diesel engine, which was severely re-engineered so as to run on bio fuel. Recycled carbon fibres from old aircraft panels and recycled soft drink bottles that would otherwise have ended up in a landfill make up most of the vehicle's body.

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Chocolate soup for the automobile soul