30.10.2012 RAC Future Car Challenge 2012
The 2012 RAC Future Car Challenge takes place on Saturday 3 November, the cars driving from Brighton to London before going on display at the Regent Street Motor Show.
Also taking place on the weekend of 3-4 November is the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, the veteran cars also being displayed in Regent Street alongside their modern day counterparts.
The Future Car Challenge, which is sponsored by RAC Motoring Services, was first introduced in 2010 to showcase low energy use vehicles. It features competitors driving electric, hybrid, hydrogen and low-emission conventional petrol and diesel cars on a 63-mile route from Brighton to London, using the least amount of energy as possible.
The Challenge is a real-world test of current and future vehicle technology and provides a unique platform for manufacturers to display and demonstrate their vehicles to the public. This year the number of awards categories has increased for production vehicles and prototype vehicles and include most energy efficient vehicles by size and type (saloon, sports car, light commercial vehicle etc.) best electric, extended range, hybrid, hydrogen and internal combustion engine vehicles.
There is a wide variety of vehicles lining up to compete in this year’s event, for example, event sponsors Bosch has entered a Mercedes-Benz E300 Bluetec Hybrid. It has a 27bhp electric motor, powered by a lithium ion battery, installed in the automatic transmission and a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine. It delivers in excess of 60mpg and has a top speed of 144mph.
Jaguar Land Rover has entered three Jaguar XJ_e PHEV models which, instead of the 5-litre V8 of the standard XJ, utilise a specially developed 2-litre turbocharged engine coupled with a 69kW electric motor and a 12.3kWh lithium-ion battery. The RAC Future Car Challenge will be the first time the model is seen on public roads in the UK.
Renault UK has entered four cars including its new flagship electric car, the Renault Zoe ZE, which was shown 'in the metal' for the first time earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show. The five-door 'supermini' has an official range of up 130 miles and can be charged to 80 per cent of its battery capacity in half an hour.
Vauxhall Motors has entered three vehicles: a HydroGen4 (a hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric vehicle expected to be available to the UK public in 2016), an Astra EcoFlex (a low emission diesel on sale now) and a Vauxhall Ampera REEV (an extended range electric vehicle which won Car of the Year 2012 and is also available in the UK now).
Taking part in this year’s Challenge are a number of celebrities including:
* Ben Collins, the former Stig, from BBC Top Gear will be taking part with British Gas in a Nissan Leaf;
* Red Dwarf actor and green car ambassador Robert Llewellyn will be taking part with British Gas in a Nissan Ampera;
* Team GB British Olympic swimmer Ross Davenport will be taking part with British Gas in a Toyota Prius Plug;
* Smooth DJ Mark Goodier will be taking part with British Gas in a Mitsubishi i-Miev;
* Land Speed Record Holder Don Wales will be taking part in a Hitachi Vauxhall Ampera;
* Coronation Street actor Tony Hirst will take part with Schneider Electric in a Nissan Leaf;
* TV presenter Edd China will be taking part with RAC in a VW Golf Bluemotion.
The Future Car Challenge culminates in Regent Street, and forms part of the Regent Street Motor Show. Taking place from 10.30am until 4.00pm, the Regent Street Motor Show is the largest free motor show in the UK. Amongst its many attractions will be a display of iconic vehicles celebrating the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries of motoring. The show will feature the prestigious EFG International Concours d'Elegance and include 100 pre-1905 vehicles that will be taking part in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run the following day.
For more info about the RAC Future Car Challenge: www.futurecarchallenge.com.
For further details about the Regent Street Motor Show: www.regentstreetmotorshow.com.
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