This Car Runs on Chocolate

By MEERA SELVA
|  Tuesday, May 5, 2009  |  Updated 7:00 PM CDT
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Weird News Photos: Holiday Edition

AP

The WorldFirst Formula 3 racing car is powered by chocolate, has a steering wheel made out of plant-based fibers derived from carrots, has bodywork made from potatoes, and can still do 125mph.

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Willy Wonka -- eat your heart out.

Scientists unveiled on Tuesday what they hope will be one of the world's fastest biofuel vehicles, powered by waste from chocolate factories and made partly from plant fibers.

Its makers hope the racer will go 145 mph and give manufacturers ideas about how to build more ecologically friendly vehicles.

The car runs on vegetable oils and chocolate waste that has been turned into biofuel. The steering wheel is made out of plant-based fibers derived from carrots and other root vegetables, and the seat is built of flax fibre and soybean oil foam. The body is also made of plant fibers.

Scientists at the University of Warwick say their car is the fastest to run on biofuels and also be made from biodegradable materials. It has been built to Formula 3 specifications about the car's size, weight, and performance.

Their claims cannot be independently verified.

They hope it can reach speeds of over 145 mph when it is tested on a racetrack in a few weeks time. They have driven it at around 60 mph and are now making final adjustments to the engine before driving it at top speed.

Warwick's project manager James Meredith said their model shows that it is possible to build a fast, efficient, environmentally friendly car.

The car, named the "WorldFirst Formula 3 racing car," will go on display at several races including the European Grand Prix and Britain's Goodwood Festival of Speed.
 

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