Chocolate-Powered Racecar Presented as Cost-Cutting Car of the Future

April 23, 2009 05:00 PM
by Denis Cummings
World First Racing has constructed a racecar using environmentally sustainable components such as carrots, soybeans and chocolate.

WorldFirst Car Runs on Chocolate, Vegetable Oil

The World First Racing team at the Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Center in Britain announced late last month that it has built an environmentally friendly Formula Three car powered by vegetable oil and waste chocolate. The car also includes a steering wheel derived from carrots and other root vegetables, a seat made with flax fiber and soybean oil, and parts of the bodywork made with potato starch.

“The project focuses on the full ‘green’ picture and does not revolve solely around tailpipe emissions,” declares the World First press release.

The WorldFirst car, which is expected to go “125 mph round corners,” will be tested on the racetrack within the next two weeks, project head James Meredith told The New York Times. Though the chocolate-derived biodiesel fuel is not currently allowed under Formula Three rules, the team is petitioning for the car to be allowed in future races so it can compete against traditional cars.

“The WorldFirst project expels the myth that performance needs to be compromised when developing the sustainable motor vehicles of the future,” said Meredith.

Background: High costs of auto racing

The development of the car comes at a time when Formula One and other racing circuits are struggling to keep costs down during the global recession. Last December, after Honda pulled out of the 2009 F1 season and the viability of the circuit was put in doubt, the organization developed measures intended to cut costs by 30 to 50 percent.
NASCAR, which primarily races cars produced by the troubled Big Three automakers—Ford, General Motors and Chrysler—has been forced to limit on testing and cut staff in an attempt to keep costs reasonable.

The World First press release touts its car as one day being a cost-cutting solution for racing circuits. “It is also hoped that WorldFirst’s ethos will eventually lead to a cost reduction for both fans and teams, as the technology advances and components become increasingly recyclable, reusable and cheaper as a result of their more widespread use,” it says.

Related Topic: NASCAR’s hybrid pace car

This week NASCAR announced that a Toyota Camry Hybrid will serve as the pace car for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24. “I know it’s a ways away, but I wouldn’t be surprised down the road sometime if there’s hybrid technology in a race,” said Ed Laukes, manager for motor sports marketing at Toyota Motor Sales USA.

Reference: World First Racing


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