British Queen celebrates


More than 60 eco vehicles – some not seen on UK roads before – completed the first RAC Brighton to London Future Car Challenge this weekend (Saturday, November 6).

A reverse of the traditional veteran car run from London to the seaside town, the inaugural event, organised by the motoring group, was a glimpse into the motoring future for spectators and participants alike. 

The entrants started in the morning from Madeira Drive, Brighton, in the presence of Richard Farleigh, former Dragons’ Den panelist. Many of those who take part are well-known motoring celebrities – such as Quentin Willson (TV presenter), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd Drummer and avid car collector), Don Wales (UK Electric Land Speed Record holder) and Paddy Hopkirk and David Richards (rally drivers). Cars entered into the fuel efficiency challenge included UK debutant, the Toyota Highlander FCHV fuel cell car, the electric Nemesis sports car, Proton Exora hybrid, Toyota Auris hybrid, Gordon Murray Designs’ T.25 City electric car, Volkswagen’s Golf Blue-e-Motion electric, Mercedes-Benz’s Vito Taxi electric, Honda’s hybrid CR-Z and the range-extended Vauxhall Ampera.

The event, which judged entrants not on speed but on how low their energy use was over the course was split into three categories – Electric, Hybrid and Internal Combustion Engine. Within each category, entries were measured in various modes for the energy used during the drive to the finish line at Pall Mall, London. The winners were then selected according to their energy use, with the Volkswagen Blue-e-Motion, drive by Jim Holder of What Car? magazine selected as the overall winner .

Each of the 17 category winners received an engraved Royal Automobile Club trophy and the overall winner received the coveted Royal Automobile Club Gold Medal. There was also an award for the best private entry and each classified finisher received a Club medal and certificate.

Overall winner, Jim Holder said: "It’s been a fantastic event. Volkswagen UK is delighted and a little surprised to have won overall, as am I. This car does not go into production for another two years so it was wonderful to win on its UK debut. I think the whole event shows just what the motoring industry can achieve."