Letter: No such thing as a green car

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The Independent Online
Sir: Nicholas Schoon (14 August) might help to prod a recalcitrant motor industry towards using more fuel-efficient car designs - or so Greenpeace hopes. The salient features of the Greenpeace/ Renault concept car are so similar to Ettore Bugatti's Type 68 (designed in 1941) that we wonder whether this pounds 1.1m project, led by Wolfgang Lohbeck, owes something to the master.

Bugatti's supercharged, 16-valve four-cylinder engine, of 370ccs, was designed to run at between 9 and 12 thousand rpm. It was of "modern" aluminium construction with one-piece connecting rods.

Lightness, particularly of wheels and suspension components, had long been a hallmark of Bugatti designs. Two- and four-seat variants of this fuel-efficient Bugatti were envisaged. Prototypes of the wartime project were built - one is in the Musee National de l'Automobile in France (The Schlumpf Collection) and another is being restored in the UK.


Curator, The Bugatti Trust

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire