As the sun comes up tomorrow morning, I’ll be setting off from Brighton to London as part of the second RAC Future Car Challenge.
The event is interesting because it pits electric, hybrid and low emission combustion engined cars against each other on real roads – everything from a free-flowing centre to winding country roads and then the choked traffic of our capital.
Adding a frisson of excitement (and justifying that future tag in the event’s name) some of the cars, including the electric VW Blu-e-motion Golf that I’ll be driving and the Murray 25 and 27, for example, aren’t even on sale yet.
Even better, after last year’s first run, when some manufacturers were reluctant to make their consumption figures available to the competitors, let alone the public, this year the majority of cars will have their economy measurements published.
All being well, that will allow some sort of real world comparison to be made between these sorts of cars for the first time, albeit with the caveats of slightly variable start times and different drivers (ranging in talent from the likes of me to 1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill, no less).
As well as providing accurate figures, which we’ll publish on autocar.co.uk, over the coming years, the competition should become a useful benchmark for how far manufacturers have progressed with their chosen technologies.