Large entry for RAC Brighton to London Future Car Challenge
As a measure of the importance of this inaugural event, entries have been received from the majority of the major car manufacturers, including BMW, Citroën, FIAT, Ford, MINI, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Renault, Skoda, Smart, Tata, Toyota, Vauxhall and Volkswagen. In many cases several different models have been entered.
Several world/UK debuts will feature as a number of the participating manufacturers will use the event to showcase, live, their pre-production electric, plug-in hybrid, hydrogen and low-emission internal combustion engine vehicles in both passenger car and light-commercial vehicle categories.
Vauxhall’s Ampera entry is an electric car fitted with a small ‘range extender’ petrol engine – unlike a hybrid vehicle; it doesn’t drive the car directly but tops up the batteries on the move to extend the vehicle’s range to a claimed 350 miles.
UK-based Liberty Electric Cars has entered the world’s first pure electric 4x4 vehicle – the Liberty E-Range Range Rover. The Liberty E has a battery range of around 200 miles and is claimed to cover 0-60mph in around seven seconds.
Ford have entered their Transit Connect Electric and UK companies, Nicholson McLaren, Interserve and RLE International have entered their all-electric conversions of the Citroën Nemo van and Volkswagen Caddy Maxi and Zytek Automotive will participate with their all-electric Mercedes-Benz Vito Taxi.
Sports cars will be represented by entries from Tesla, well known for its high performance vehicles, plus privately entered Lotus Elise and MG-F both recently converted to electric drive.
Professor Gordon Murray is very much a modern-day automotive pioneer. Following 17 years designing Brabham Formula One cars and then 18 years with the McLaren Group designing Formula One and high performance road cars, Murray set up Gordon Murray Design Limited in Shalford, Surrey. The company has developed iStream®, an innovative and disruptive automotive manufacturing technology to reduce the overall environmental impact of cars and the way that they’re built. For the RAC Brighton to London Future Car Challenge, Gordon Murray has entered his company’s T.25 three-seater city car that he will drive on the event himself. The ultra-lightweight design utilises Formula One technology and has a unique door opening system so it can be parked very close to objects but still allow occupants to enter and exit.
Ben Cussons, Chairman of The Royal Automobile Club Motoring Committee, says: “We’re extremely pleased with both the quantity and, importantly, the quality of the entries we’ve established. As well as entries from major manufacturers and specialist companies, a number of private owners will also take part – something we very much encourage. We are also receiving considerable support from many sponsors including, of course, the title sponsor RAC Motoring Services.
“We’re confident this will be the largest, most public, showcase for low energy vehicles that has ever taken place in Europe and is therefore just as significant as The Royal Automobile Club’s world famous London to Brighton Veteran Car Run which takes place the following day.”