challenge tilt at hopeful Dutch, by Cameron McGavin
- 28th September 2005
Mediaman pitched Fairfax - Drive
The eighth World Solar Challenge
started in Darwin last weekend with 23 teams from
10 countries contesting the 3000 km-plus efficiency
run that ends this week in Adelaide.
hot favourite in the leading solar class - demonstrating
some of the fundamental technical innovations
driving us towards a hydrogen-based economy -
is the multimillion-dollar Dutch entry Nuna 3,
which is on a hat-trick after taking out the technology-based
event in 2001 and 2003.
3 has been leading Australia's team, Aurora 101,
which was hoping to reverse the form that saw
it finish second in the past two events.
speeds in the solar category more than doubling
in the past 10 years, now reaching 100 km/h, leading
competitors are likely to reach the finish in
Adelaide in record time.
more interesting for motorists, however, is the
Greenfleet category of the event, which offers
manufacturers an opportunity to demonstrate their
include Daimler- Chrysler brand Smart, which has
fielded a Smart ForTwo CDi, piloted by Australian
model and actress Annalise Braakensiek. Powered
by the world's smallest diesel engine featuring
direct injection and a common-rail system, the
tiny European-market city car uses just 3.1 litres/100
km of fuel on the open road, emits just 90 grams
of carbon dioxide per kilometre (less than Toyota's
hybrid-powered Prius and about a third that of
an average Australian family car) and is expected
to complete the transcontinental journey on four
tanks of fuel.
Greenfleet entrant is an Astra powered by a diesel
engine from GM Europe to demonstrate its performance