Cars of the future lead way in Brighton to London rally

Image caption,
Gordon Murray leaves Brighton in his prototype T.25

More than 60 eco-friendly cars have taken part in a 60 mile rally with the aim of using the lowest amount of energy possible.

The electric, hybrid and low-emission cars, LCVs and motorcycles were part of the inaugural RAC Brighton to London Future Car Challenge.

They set off from Madeira Drive on the East Sussex city's seafront and headed for central London.

The event was aimed at showcasing low-emission cars of the future.

Image caption,
The Nemesis car heads for London with Dale Vince at the wheel

Drivers included rally legends Paddy Hopkirk and David Richards, who drove differently powered Minis, along with former Formula One driver Perry McCarthy and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason.

It took place a day before the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, taking the traditional route in reverse.

Among the vehicles in the rally were the electric Mini E, Toyota Auris and Prius Hybrids, the hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity, the diesel-powered VW BlueMotion Golf and Tesla electric roadster.

Image caption,
The event included a display of veteran cars that will be making the opposite journey to Brighton

The rally ended in London's Pall Mall before a presentation of the vehicles in Regent Street together with some of the vintage cars taking part in Sunday's run.

Trophies were awarded to the most environmentally-friendly and economical vehicles. Best overall entry as chosen by the judges was the VW BlueMotion Golf.

Next generation

Speaking before the rally, Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, warned that despite having the technology to cut carbon emissions the development of the cars was likely to be hampered by their expense.

He said: "There is a large price difference between the most fuel-efficient models currently available and the next generation of vehicles already arriving in the showrooms.

"The cars of tomorrow might have very low running costs, but that will be irrelevant if people haven't got the cash to buy them in the first place."

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