Jorge Chapa

TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY: The 170 MPH Steam Car

by , 11/11/08

british steamcar challenge, steam powered vehicle, sustainable transportation, emission free, alternative energy, green design, sustainable design, edward montagu

This svelte steam powered car was created using salvaged parts (including tea kettles) and is capable of achieving speeds of 170mph! Developed by Edward Montagu and created by a team of graduate students in the University of Southampton, the car will soon attempt to shatter the record for the fastest steam powered vehicle in the world – previously set in 1906.


british steamcar challenge, steam powered vehicle, sustainable transportation, emission free, alternative energy, green design, sustainable design, edward montagu

A mix of contemporary technology and victorian steampunk sensibilities, the vehicle is more than 7.5 meters long and 1.7 meters wide. It has a 13,000rpm two stage engine, and can produce over 360hp. The projected top seed of 170 mpg requires the generation of 3 megawatts of heat, which is generated by burning liquid gas. To create the vehicle, the team used steam valves from a power station, a water pump from a fire engine, and the afore mentioned heating elements from tea kettles.

Now before you get all excited, let us note that the steam car is not quite environmentally friendly in its current state – in order to generate such heat the vehicle runs through one ton of water every half hour. Still, it’s an exciting proof of concept and we couldn’t resist the mixture of interesting technologies and pure ingenuity.

+ The British Steam Car Challenge

+ University of Southampton

Via Treehugger

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