In the new millennium, there has been a concentrated effort by automotive engineers and global automotive manufacturers to design cars that could run on an alternate source of fuel other than fossil fuels. Electric and battery-powered vehicles are the most visible alternative to fuel-powered vehicles.
The Toyota Prius, which is a hybrid between an electric and fuel-powered engine, represents the first step taken by a major auto manufacturer to mass-produce an environmental-friendly vehicle that runs on a combination of fuel and electricity-powered engine.
There has also been a lot of research and development done to harness the limitless energy of the sun and power our vehicles with it.
Solar-powered vehicles have long been a fancy of design engineers. Solar cars, however, have been usually relegated to niche competitions. Unlike electric and battery-powered vehicles, there has been no concrete effort to produce a solar powered car for the public.
Another obstacle that the solar cars need to overcome is their hideous design sense. The obtuse body frame of solar-powered vehicles makes one wonder why would anyone ride them in the first place. No matter how beneficial they are to the environment.
Designer Paul Wilkins has overcome the design conundrum of sun-powered vehicles by designing a solar car concept that has an exquisite design aesthetic. Paul Wilkins has collaborated with German auto manufacturers, Volkswagen (pronounced Folkswagen), and conceptualized a solar-powered supercar that walks the tightrope between sophisticated beauty and potent functionality. The intelligent design of the car includes integrated photovoltaic cells that line the external body of the vehicle which absorbs the sun’s abundant energy and powers the hydrogen fuel cell stack.
If the Volkswagen solar-powered supercar’s eco-friendly engine will impress you, its breathtaking body design will simply blow your mind.
The exoskeleton of the solar supercar is a sleek, smooth, aerodynamic design. Green and black color tones paint the car in a racing-stripe inspired design. The car borrows its external design elements from the Volkswagen Scirocco with a dominant front grill, forward-pitching nose, and curved side-features. There are slit panels, which aid down force, located at the rear, behind the cockpit.
The Volkswagen solar supercar is currently on display at the 2010 Swansea Metropolitan University Degree Show as a concept design. This concept design will be manufactured as a luxury car and will be assembled in a limited number. It is slated to hit the roads in 2020.