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See 2011 – Full Results


2012 RAC Future Car Challenge results here

RAC Future Car Challenge 2011

RAC Future Car Challenge

The RAC Future Car Challenge event took place on 5 November 2011; the aim of the event was to drive from Brighton to London using the least energy possible, and a variety of the latest low carbon vehicles took part.

The roots of the event can be traced back to 1896, when the first ever London to Brighton car run took place. Even then the vehicles had a range of powertrains including the internal combustion engine, electric and steam.

That early road trip is still celebrated by the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, which took place the day after the RAC Future Car Challenge, on the same route but in reverse.

In total more than 65 vehicles took part in the Future Car Challenge, representing different manufacturers with a variety of low emission powertrain technologies ranging from diesel to hybrid to electric.

The route from Brighton to London was 57 miles in length and it had to be completed using the least energy possible within the 2 hours 45 minutes minimum and 3 hours 30 minutes maximum time permitted. Imperial College London monitored the energy usage using data-loggers which measured fuel consumption and CO 2 emissions, or current and voltage in the case of electric vehicles.

Cars started off from Madeira Drive in Brighton from 7.30am, with a half-way stop at Central Sussex College, Crawley. The finish was at Pall Mall in central London, and the cars were then displayed in Regent Street, along with 100 of the cars due to take part in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, and 50 Jaguar E-Types and 50 original Minis.

Paul Clarke, Founder and Editor of,
drove an electric BMW ActiveE in the event
– see our separate report.

The Racing Green endurance car parked up but ready to go in Brighton

Lord Drayson at the RAC Future Car Challenge in one of his Racing Green vehicles for Drayson Racing

Lord Drayson
, former government minister and owner of Drayson Racing

Other drivers in the event included former government minister Lord Drayson, British Formula One 1996 World Champion Damon Hill OBE, Kevin McCloud (presenter of Grand Designs) and Robert Llewellyn – who is about to film another series of Red Dwarf, in which he plays Kryten.

Damon Hill at the RAC Future Car Challenge

Damon Hill OBE, British Formula One 1996 World Champion

Robert Llewellyn being interviewed

Robert Llewellyn, shortly before departing to film another series of Red Dwarf

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 CO ? emissions – ‘fuelled by any legal means’.

The overall event winner was
former Formula 1 designer Gordon Murray and his lightweight electric T.27 city car

The T.27 lightweight city car won ‘Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Prototype)’, ‘Best Overall Pure Electric Vehicle’ and ‘Best Overall Entry – RAC Future Car Challenge Winner’.

The T.27 covered the 57.13 miles from Brighton to London carrying 2 occupants, inside the allocated time using less than 64 pence worth of energy – equivalent to 350 mpg (0.81 litres / 100 km) and only 37 g/km CO2.

On a full charge, taking only 4 hours, the T.27 can do more than 100 miles.

Gordon Murray Design chose the RAC Future Car Challenge to be the T.27’s public running debut after the car’s launch in July this year as “The World’s Most Efficient Electric Car”.

Professor Gordon Murray of Gordon Murray Design said: “This win represents a huge step forward in our race to reduce automotive energy consumption and emissions. This year’s success in combination with last year’s win with our petrol-powered T.25, awarded ‘Most Economic Small Passenger ICE Vehicle’ and ‘Most Economic and Environment Friendly Small Passenger ICE Vehicle’, proves absolutely that lightweight is our most powerful tool for solving our energy problems. Our team is proud to have worked with the Technology Strategy Board and our other partners on this exciting programme and we look forward to working with a manufacturing partner to make the T.27 with its low running costs available to the motoring public.”

There was also an award for the ‘public choice’, which went to the
Delta E-4 Coupe

An interesting result was the car that won the Best Overall Hybrid Vehicle – rather than being a brand new production hybrid, it was the
Oaktec Honda Insight rally car
– see our separate story.


The winning cars were as follows:

Gordon Murray stands in front of his Design T.27 cars

Best Overall Entry – RAC Future Car Challenge Winner, no. 27, Gordon Murray Design T.27

Simon Dowson in front of his Delta E-4 Coupe

People’s Choice – No. 44,
Delta E-4 Coupe

Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Production) – No. 2, Smart fortwo electric coupe


Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Prototype) – No. 27,
Gordon Murray Design T.27

Most Energy Efficient Regular Car (Production) – No. 3, Nissan Leaf

Most Energy Efficient Regular Car the VW Golf Blue e-motion

Most Energy Efficient Regular Car (Prototype) – No. 43, VW Golf Blue e-motion

Most Energy Efficient Large Car the Peugeot 508 e-HDI

Most Energy Efficient Large Car (Production) – No. 42, Peugeot 508 e-HDI

Most Energy Efficient Sports Car (Production) – No. 18, Tesla Roadster

Most Energy Efficient Sports Car (Prototype) the Jaguar E-Type

Most Energy Efficient Sports Car (Prototype) – No. 54, Jaguar E-Type

Most Energy Efficient Multi-Purpose (Prototype) – No. 41, Proton Exora REEV

Best Overall Pure Electric Vehicle – No. 27, T.27 Gordon Murray Design

A Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid at the RAC Future Car Challenge

Best Overall Extended Range/Plug-In Hybrid (E-REV, PHEV) Vehicle – No. 41, Proton Exora REEV and No. 21, Toyota Prius Plus-In Hybrid


Best Overall Hybrid (HV, HEV) Vehicle – No. 68, Oaktec Honda Insight rally car

A very smart Mini Cooper D Olympic Edition

Best Overall Combustion Engine (ICE) Vehicle – No. 67, Mini Cooper D Olympic Edition

Best Overall Vehicle On Sale At Time Of Event – No. 3, Nissan Leaf

Best Overall Private Entry – No. 8, Lotus Elise S1 Electric

Most Energy Efficient Light Commercial Vehicle (Production) – No. 46, Mercedes Benz, Vito E-Cell

Most Energy Efficient Light Commercial Vehicle (Prototype) – No. 62, Citroen Nemo Van Electric

Here are some other significant vehicles that took part:

Lightning GT battery-electric sports car

Lightning GT battery-electric sports car

A couple of Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrids

Range Rover Sport Plug-in Hybrid

Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4

Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4

Vauxhall Amperag

Vauxhall Ampera

BMW 320d EfficientDynamics

BMW 320d EfficientDynamics




Renault Kangoo Van ZE

Full Results:






27Gordon Murray DesignGordon Murray Design T.27 (EV)7.0
54Windreich AGJaguar E-Type Electric (EV)8.5
70Electric Vehicle Companysmart fortwo coupe electric (EV)9.7
43Volkswagen Group UKVolkswagen Golf Blue-e-motion (EV)10.1
08Mr Russ ScivilleLotus Elise S1 Electric (EV)11.0
16Mr Neil HutchinsonMG MGF Electric (EV)11.1
44RAC FoundationDelta E-4 Coupe (EV)11.5
51Perususahaan Otomobil

Nasional SDN.BHD.(Proton)

Proton Saga EV (EV)11.5
32Electric Vehicle CompanyMercedes-Benz A-Class Electric (EV)11.6
40Eindhoven University

of Technology

Volkswagen Lupo Electric (EV)11.7
01Volkswagen Group UKVolkswagen Golf Blue-e-motion (EV)12.1
60MINI UKMini-E (EV)12.2
04Delta Motorsport/EEMSDelta E-4 Coupe (EV)12.3
39BMW UKBMW ActiveE (EV)12.6
62Electric Vehicle CompanyCitroen Nemo Van Electric (EV)13.5
03RAC Motoring ServicesNissan Leaf (EV)14.1
12British GasNissan Leaf (EV)14.3
56High Gear MediaNissan Leaf (EV)14.9
18Mr Mark EdmondTesla Roadster (EV)15.1
36British GasNissan Leaf (EV)15.6
02The Royal Automobile Clubsmart fortwo coupe electric (EV)*16.3
38Lightning Car Co/

RAC Foundation/EEMS

Lightning GT (EV)16.8
57Mercedes-Benz UKsmart fortwo coupe electric (EV)*17.6
66Mercedes-Benz UKsmart fortwo coupe electric (EV)*17.6
63Mercedes-Benz UKsmart fortwo coupe electric (EV)*17.7
09Imperial College LondonRadical SRZero (EV)20.3
21Toyota GBToyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV)**27.6
41Perususahaan Otomobil

Nasional SDN.BHD. (Proton)

Proton Exora REEV (E-REV)**27.6
47British GasToyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV)**28.8
68Mr Paul AndrewsHonda Insight (HEV)29.8
11Toyota GBToyota Auris Hybrid (HEV)36.0
26Peugeot UK/What Car?Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 Crossover (HEV)37.7
29Robert Bosch GBPeugeot 3008 HYbrid4 Crossover (HEV)39.5
42Peugeot UKPeugeot 508 Hdi***44.6
53Volkswagen Group UKVolkswagen Passat Blue-motion (ICE)46.8
67MINI UKMini Cooper Diesel***49.5
49BMW UKBMW 320d Efficient Dynamics (ICE)50.6
20Goodyear TyresFiat 500 Twin Air (ICE)52.8
05FIA FoundationPeugeot 508 Hdi (ICE)59.3
15Bodsham Electric VehiclesBodsham Hatchback (EV)TBC
17Zytek AutomotiveZytek Mercedes Vito III Taxi Electric (EV)CAN failed
28Mr Neil Robertsonsmart fortwo diesel (ICE)No MPG Data
22Perususahaan Otomobil

Nasional SDN.BHD. (Proton)

Proton Persona Elegance REEV (E-REV)TBC
31Toyota GBToyota Highlander FCHV (HFEV)No MPG Data
37Zytek AutomotiveZytek Mercedes Vito III Compact MPV (EV)CAN failed
45Renault UKRenault Kangoo (EV)Data-logger Not Fitted
46Hyde ElektromotiveMercedes-Benz Vito E-CELL (EV)Data-logger Not Fitted
50What Car?Nissan Leaf (EV)Data-logger dislodged
59Crawley Borough CouncilNissan Leaf (EV)Data-logger dislodged
69Auto ExpressNissan Leaf (EV)Data-logger Not Fitted

Paul Clarke