Overall winner of the second annual Brighton to London RAC (Royal Automotive Club) Future Car Challenge on 5 November was former Formula 1 designer Gordon Murray and his T.27 electric vehicle. (Earlier post.)
More than 65 low-emission vehicles—some not seen on UK roads before—completed the Challenge. The event, which was inaugurated last year, challenges entrants to use the least amount of energy driving the 60-mile route.
It is the first time we have showcased the T.27 on the UK roads. This is the only event in the world that demonstrates real cars, in real conditions, that is measured independently and in the public eye. It’s a fantastic showcase for technology and The Royal Automobile Club should be proud of the event. Last year we won with our petrol car the T.25 entry and this year our electric car the T.27. Both of which clearly demonstrates that lightweight is the biggest tool we have for reducing emissions. To win this event is truly special and could not have been achieved without the 50% grant from the Technology Strategy Board and my team.—Gordon Murray
The event was organized in three different entrants classes and seven vehicle categories—from small passenger classes to light commercial vehicles. There were five vehicle energy classes: Pure Electric (EV); Extended-Range/Plug-In Hybrid (E-REV, PHEV); Hybrid (HV, HEV); Hydrogen (HFEV); and Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)—up to 110g/km CO₂ emission fueled by any legal means.
Those taking part ranged from enthusiasts driving their own vehicles to major car manufacturers including BMW, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Renault, smart, Toyota, Vauxhall, Volkswagen and Land Rover. Many of the vehicles, such as the Land Rover Range_e, BMW Active-e and Volkswagen Golf Blue e-motion will not be on sale for two or more years and had rarely been seen on UK roads.
As well as low-emission conventional (internal combustion) engined cars, the entry list included electric vehicles, hybrid models and cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells.