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post #1 of (permalink) Old 23rd February 2008
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The world's first wooden supercar has been unveiled - and it's faster than a Porsche or a Lamborghini.

The Splinter can produce 700bhp from its twin supercharged, 4.6 litre V8 engine - almost 300bhp more than a Porsche 911 GT3. And with a top speed of 240mph, it will leave the Porsche and the new Lamborghini Revanton in its wake.

The two seater, which is made from a combination of maple, plywood and MDF, weighs 1,134kg - 240kg less than the lightweight Porsche.

Joe Harmon, from North Carolina, who is head of the project, said: "Wood has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than aluminium or steel, and it possesses a versatility that makes many types of construction techniques possible. The satisfaction involved in making something from a piece of wood is awesome."

The Splinter, which has a roll cage to protect the driver and stiffen the chassis, has a laminated wood veneer chassis and wooden wheel rims. Suspension is provided through laminated wooden arms and springs made from osage orange wood. It is not made from solid chunks of wood, but rather moulded laminates.

It is due to hit the road later this year at a price to be decided.

According to Mr Harmon, 27, it might not be long before the Formula One star Lewis Hamilton is behind the wheel of a wooden car.

He said: "An F1 car could definitely be made from wood.

"Some extremely creative engineering would have to go into it to overcome the strength-to-weight and mouldability benefits of carbon fibre, but it's definitely possible.

"Getting permission to race it would probably be a bigger challenge than engineering it. But it would be fun to try."

Last edited by Pat.w; 23rd February 2008 at 08:18 PM. Reason: link added
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