Delta Motorsport E4 and Peugeot ion at Future Car Challenge

RAC 2011 Future Car Challenge Results

In Driving in the UK by Jonathan Humphrey

After just getting back from the 2011 Future Car Challenge driving the Peugeot iOn (in the image below). The car performed excellently and really proved to us that for the right driving type and with the right price this car is a real alternative. The event went excellently and it was great to see some of the most innovative of vehicles on the roads.

Delta Motorsport E4 and Peugeot ion at Future Car Challenge


The latest release from the RAC has just announced the Future Car Challenge results.

More than 65 low-emission vehicles – some not seen on UK roads before – completed the second annual Brighton to London RAC Future Car Challenge on Saturday 5 November. The event, which was inaugurated last year, challenges entrants to use the least amount of energy driving the 60-mile route.

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.

The entrants started this morning from Madeira Drive, Brighton at 7.30am each were flagged off by the Mayor of Brighton Cllr Anne Meadows. Many of those who took part are well-known motoring celebrities – including British Formula One legend and 1996 World Champion, Damon Hill OBE, Quentin Willson (TV presenter and magazine columnist), Gordon Murray (former F1 designer), Mark Goodier (Smooth Radio DJ) and Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs TV programme presenter).

Speaking at the event Damon Hill OBE said “I’m usually associated with high speed motorsport, but today was very different we went off at the startline at Brighton driving slowly trying to conserve as much fuel as possible. Today I was driving a Peugeot 508 for The Global Fuel Economy Initiative; it was a real eye opener and demonstrated what can be achieved with better driving style.”

There was a halfway stop at Central Sussex College, Crawley before entrants began arriving at the finish in Waterloo Place, Pall Mall from just after 10.30am. They then paraded under RAC escort to Regent Street (via Piccadilly Circus) where they joined a display of more than 100 pre-1905 motor cars in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run International Concours d’Elegance in front of an estimated 250,000 audience.

The event was organised 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 fuelled by any legal means.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony in Regent Street, Ben Cussons, Chairman of The Royal Automobile Club Motoring Committee, said:

“Once again this has been an excellent event and I want to thank all the drivers and entrants and the many companies who put so much effort into making it a success. It attracted a huge crowd along the route and here at the finish and has once again brought the future of motoring to the attention of the public.”

Overall winner was former formula 1 designer Gordon Murray and his T.27. Gordon was thrilled “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.”

The public choice award was presented by Sir David Prosser, Chairman Royal Automobile Club, along with Sally Boazman (aka Sally Traffic) from BBC Radio 2 to Delta Motorsport and their stylish Delta E-4 Coupe. Managing Director Simon Dowson said “it is great to get the recognition from the general public” he too praised the Technology Strategy Board programme, and without their support would not be possible”.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: ‘This fantastic event captures the nostalgia and romance of UK’s motoring history, giving it relevance to the challenges of today. ‘Last year, we announced our innovative Source London electric driving scheme here at the RAC Future Car Challenge, heralding the growth of petrol-free travel in the capital. Source London responds to the fact that we already boast more electric cars than anywhere in the UK and this is only set to grow. This will help me in my goal of delivering more efficient motoring and cleaner air for London.’

The Source London network provides members with the means to top up the electricity in their electric vehicle while out and about. Over 200 electric vehicle charge points have now been installed across the city, this is set to grow to 1,300 points by 2013.

The driver(s) of each vehicle completing the Challenge within the specified time was presented with a Royal Automobile Club Finishers Award and Certificate. In addition, Royal Automobile Club trophy awards were presented to the winners of each of the following 18 categories:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13. Best Overall Hybrid (HV, HEV) Vehicle – No. 68, Honda Insight

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

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

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

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

18. People’s Choice – No. 44, Delta E4 Coupe

Overall Winner in the 2011 RAC Future Car Challenge Results