World land speed record setters Bluebird has unveiled two new machines that will build on the firm’s legendary exploits and take them into two new categories: electric cars and motor racing.
The DC50 electric sports car will be limited to a production run of just 50 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Donald Campbell’s land speed record. It’s the work of Donald Campbell’s nephew, Don Wales, and it will be shown at the Sustainable MotoExpo, which is being held at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire during September. Bluebird is making some bold claims about the car, including a kerb weight under 1000kg, with 45% - 55% front/rear weight distribution. A 0-62mph time of less than six seconds has also been promised, and a top speed of 140mph is expected. The average range is said to be 200 miles after a 4 hour charge.
Alongside the DC50, the Bluebird GTL electric race car will be shown. It’s been designed to compete in the upcoming FIA sanctioned Formula E, which begins in 2014. The series will be the pinnacle of single-seat, electrically-powered racing cars and hopes to become seen as Formula 1 for electric cars. The organisers have gone as far as involving Formula 1 team McLaren, who will provide the motor, electronics and transmission for all of the teams. Unlike F1, the racing will take place exclusively on city street tracks. At this time, Rio de Janeiro and Rome are the only confirmed venues for the new world championship.
Bluebird’s emergence as a car and race car maker could not be better timed because electric car technology is improving steadily. But it’s still the preserve of specialist manufacturers, and still needs to prove it can power quick machinery. But there's no better name to summon up an image of speed than Bluebird.