The 170 mph steam car


This svelte steam powered car was created using salvaged parts (including tea kettles) and is capable of achieving speeds of 170mph!

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 aforementioned heating elements from tea kettles.

More from, the developers of the car.

The previous world record for a steam car was set in 1906.

In Electric Vehicle and the Burden of History, author David Kirsch documents the fascinating history of cars from 1890-1920, when steam, electric, and gas-powered vehicles were common, and it was unclear which technology would predominate. Kirsch thinks gas-powered vehicles won out because a) steam could be unreliable, b) electric took too long to charge (!) and perhaps most crucially, c) kerosene lamps were being replaced by electric bulbs, so kerosene dealers simply switched over to gasoline – and they already had a nationwide distribution system in place.


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