The Global View

Forget the space race: New X-prize for cars launched

xprizeThe last X-prize helped launched the first space race of the millennium–by offering a prize of $10m to get people’s creative juices flowing. That prize was won by Burt Rutan’s SpaceShipOne in 2004. Now a new challenge has been launched, which could ultimately affect many more people: designing and building a car that can get at least 100 miles from the gallon (about 160kms from just less than 4 litres, for our metric-minded readers)–and then beat all its rivals in a race. Yes, it’s the Automotive X-prize.

A bunch of firms have already signed up, including the great people that are bringing us the world’s first electric sports car: the Tesla Roadster.

The overall prize hasn’t been set yet, but it’s sure to be a goodly number of millions. And the real prize could be some genuine motoring innovation.