Yes it sounds like one of the motor industry’s many April fool spoof stories, but the University of Warwick really has made a racing car from vegetables.
The first racing car designed and made from sustainable and renewable materials is brought to you by Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (WIMRC), who is seeking to prove to the motor industry that it is possible to build a competitive racing car using environmentally sustainable components, including:
• Composite Steering Wheel derived from Carrots and other Root Vegetables
• Potato Starch Wing Mirrors
• Wing End Plates made from Cellulose and Flax composite
• Lightweight Wiring Loom incorporating Recycled Aluminium and Plastic
• 3D woven Natural Fibre composites in the Barge Board
• Bio Diesel race calibrated Engine. Not only is the car made of plants it can also run on them
• Glass Fibre and resin from Recycled Plastic for the Side Pod
• A groundbreaking Oxygen Generating catalyst on the Radiators that cleans the air as the car moves
• A seat made from Flax Fibre shell, Soybean Oil foam and recycled polyester
• Recycled Carbon Fibre for the Engine Cover and Damper Hatch
• Pre impregnated woven Flax Fibre for the Bib
• Plant Oil based Lubricants
• Non-carbon disks, with low embodied energy for the Brakes
• Recyclable Livery and Sustainable Branding
Project Manager, James Meredith, a researcher in WMG at the University of Warwick said “It’s been very exciting working on the project and important for our team to develop a working example of a truly ‘Green’ motor racing car. The WorldFirst project expels the myth that performance needs to be compromised when developing the sustainable motor vehicles of the future.”
Team WorldFirst, which also includes Dr Kerry Kirwan and Dr Steve Maggs as principle investigators on the project, have collaborated with OEM’s, tier 1 automotive suppliers and local SME’s throughout. Their collaboration has achieved spectacular results paving the way for motor racing in the future.
The WorldFirst car proves that the practical application of sustainable and renewable materials can spearhead the innovation needed in the “championing of green technology” by motor sport, as recently called for by Sir Richard Branson who showed interest in sponsoring the Honda F1 team.
The idea behind the WorldFirst racing car is to look at ways of producing a car that is ‘truly green’ and can be run as a competitive racecar with minimal impact on the environment.
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.