Torque electric at CRC Speedshow
Supercars are a staple part of any automotive show, but at this year’s CRC Speedshow, one supercar – a lightweight, high-performance Tesla Roadster – will not be like the others.
With its sleek, low-slung lines and innovative bonded aluminium/carbon fibre body, the US-built Tesla Roadster certainly looks like a supercar. And its ability to accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds means it is as fast as one. The difference is that the Tesla runs on electricity, not petrol.
“And if you didn’t know the Tesla was electric, it would be hard to tell by looking at it, wouldn’t it?” asks Rob McEwen, of the Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles, who’s behind the display of electric vehicles as part of CRC Speedshow, running July 19 and 20 at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds.
The increasing importance – not to mention rapidly increasing public acceptance – of electric vehicles can be seen in the fact that the sporty Tesla Roadster will be one of at least four electric vehicles on the Association’s stand at the biggest annual automotive and motorsport show in Australasia.
The others are all models which are now readily available to New Zealand consumers, namely the rangeextended Holden Volt, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and the Nissan Leaf.
The display of electric vehicles is a first for CRC Speedshow, with show director Ross Prevette predicting a bright future for the “zero emission” sector.
“Even just in the past year, major strides have been made both in the electric vehicle technology itself and the uptake by manufacturers, dealers and the buying public. We’re no longer talking just about hybrids either; we’re talking about genuine, 100 percent, whisper-quiet, zero-emission vehicles equipped with high-efficiency electric motors and the latest lithium-ion batteries,” says Prevette.
Surveys show that buyers are definitely interested in saving – both money and the planet – but not at the expense of style, fitness-for-purpose, or performance.
For proof of how far the electric vehicle sector has moved in such a short time Prevette points to the advances made in the Zero TT (for zero emission motorcycles) race at the Isle of Man where between 2010 and 2103 the average speed recorded by the winner over a single 60.37 km lap of the famous “mountain” course has gone from 154.821 km/h to 175.47km/h.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Speedshow will host the inaugural New Zealand Indoor Off-road Championship (NZIOC) takes place at July’s CRC Speedshow.
As befits New Zealand’s biggest and most diverse automotive and motor sport show, the two-day championship for radio-controlled, 1/10th scale electric racers hosted by the North Harbour Radio Controlled Car Club (NHRCCC) creates an exciting new event in this increasingly popular hobby-turned-sport.
A purpose-built race track inside the Logan Campbell Centre will allow dozens of radio-control (RC) racing enthusiasts to take part in the event and hundreds more to enjoy the action from dedicated viewing points beside and above the track.
“When we were approached by Nigel Bish, vice president of the NHRCCC, and his organising committee, we could immediately see the attraction of having this seriously fun form of motorsport as part of this year’s CRC Speedshow,” says Ross Prevette.
“With this radio-controlled race championship, the brand-new Classic Cover Insurance Classic Show in pavilion six, and new outdoor display and entertainment areas, the entire footprint of the show is around 30 per cent bigger than our previous events.
“This year, we particularly wanted to expand the array of displays and activities that appeal to families. One of the many cool things about radiocontrolled cars is that everyone in the family can race them. Nigel tells us they often have grandfathers, fathers, sons and daughters all competing in the same races at club level, so we’re looking forward to seeing the different generations take each other on at CRC Speedshow.”
Nigel Bish comments: “It’s really important to us that CRC Speedshow visitors enjoy the opportunity to have a go at radio-controlled racing so make sure you join us to set your best time on the virtual radio-controlled race simulator. Entrants who set the fastest times will have the opportunity to compete against a number of wellknown celebrity racers – more details to come.”
Complementing the race action is an array of exhibitors dedicated to the radio-controlled racing sector and many of New Zealand’s radiocontrolled racing clubs will be represented. Seated viewing for more than a thousand fans is available in the Logan Campbell Centre’s mezzanine floor.
Bish says those interested in entering the New Zealand Indoor Off-road Championship should go to the event website – http://nhrccc.pccnz.com/ nzioc/. “But be quick, there are already over 150 cars entered.”
With two new display halls bringing the total to five, there will be hundreds of vehicles on display at the Speedshow, opportunities to meet racing stars, and to enjoy top-class entertainment in the Ideal Wheels live action arena.
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