Designers Envision a Future of Citrus-Powered Hot Rods

A potential eco-friendly hot rod of the future will be built from recycled materials and put down 700 horsepower. Just remember to pack plenty of oranges.

Sustainable transport may be just another task on environmentalists’ to-do list, but for car designers it’s a path to rethinking how automobiles are built, and from what they’re made. That’s the idea behind the “Stauro,” a conceptual roadster with the horsepower of an exotic supercar, using recycled materials in its construction. The eco-friendly hot rod envisions a day when high-performance gasoline engines are replaced by powerplants using citrus-oil and steam. No, they’re not kidding.

The Stauro concept is the product of industrial designer Taylor Welden of Austin, Texas and engineer Harry Schoell, leaders of a seven-person design team. The group designed the compact Stauro to operate within cramped urban parking spaces. The car’s exoskeleton is envisioned as 100% recycled aluminum, with body panels made from ecoresin by 3form, a co-polyester material made from 40% recycled content. But what could be the most innovative thinking is under the hood. Imagine a steam engine that runs on orange oil, and is capable of churning out 700 horsepower — or enough to send a lightweight eco-roadster into a low-earth orbit. The three-wheeled Stauro is designed to seat two passengers in comfort and safety. As for the car’s fictional production; all manufacturing facilities and materials sourced would be within 500 miles of the company headquarters, for a super-low carbon footprint. Sounds like a plan for the new GM.

[via Taylor Welden]