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Any colour, as long as it's green


White is so last season; green is in for 2008.

 

Though some of the world’s fastest cars will headline the Melbourne Motor Show in all their fuel-burning glory, they will be offset by remarkable carbon-neutral automotive advancements in track-day cars, petrol powerplants and full-scale SUVs.

Land Rover’s LRX concept hints at a trade-off between 4WDs and fuel burning with an experimental turbo-diesel hybrid drivetrain.

The LRX, which debuted at the Detroit motor show in January (and is still on the plane to Australia), is only the second concept ever made in Land Rover’s 60-year history, and undoubtedly its most important development to date. Other brands such as Peugeot have developed diesel hybrids quoting fuel figures of less than 4.0L/100km, but no manufacturer has been able to bring one in at an acceptable retail cost. Perhaps Land Rover will be the first.

From concept to reality, the new Honda Accord features one of the world’s most advanced V6 petrol engines. Launched to the media yesterday and revealed to the public on February 29, Honda’s revitalised sedan staple features a new 3.5-litre V6 engine with cylinder deactivation (Variable Cylinder Management, or VCM). This enables the car to power with all six cylinders on full throttle applications, or imperceptibly shut down two or even three of its cylinders during low throttle driving or at slow speed.

At high speed, a new Australian sports car will debut at the show, filling in for an absent Lotus in the lightweight light-on-fuel track car niche.

The E-Vade is a two-seat, sub-tonne sports car designed and built by Melbourne-based naval officer Lieutenant Commander David Walter and his wife Peta. It will feature in two iterations: a road-going convertible, and an open-top track car.

The almost-production-ready E-Vade features a space-frame chassis and fibreglass body wrapped around a Nissan V6 engine.

Walter claims 300kW in road-going guise, or a massive 500kW for the track car, which pushes a weight of just 950kg. The E-Vade suggests that power does not automatically equate to fuel consumption, while its environmental manufacturing expense is as minimal as the car.

But the ultimate green hue radiates from the Aurora solar powered race cars.

The Melbourne-based voluntary group will showcase 20 years of sun-powered advancement with two cars; a 1987 model affectionately dubbed ‘Christine’, and a newly-developed competition vehicle called Aurora 101.

Both cars have been on the podium at the World Solar Challenge, which runs across Australia during October. Clocking 3000km under cooking Red Interior sun renders these machines worthy of ‘race car’ status, even if they have no cylinders to speak of.


 

2008 Melbourne International Motor Show

Melbourne Exhibition Centre, Clarendon Street, Southbank 

Friday, 29 February (from 5PM) - 9 March

Adults $18.00; Children (5-15) $10.00; Children under 5 Free; Concession $14; Family (2 adults, up to 3 children) $44.00