Automotive

1300 bhp monster truck delivers 50-60 yards per gallon (and fires refrigerators)

1300 bhp monster truck deliver...
1300 bhp monster truck fires refrigerators
1300 bhp monster truck fires refrigerators
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1300 bhp monster truck fires refrigerators
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1300 bhp monster truck fires refrigerators

Modern technology is capable of creating some astounding vehicles, as is evidenced by a behemoth of remarkable proportions that will be one of the attractions at the forthcoming Top Gear Live shows in the U.K. Each 6ft x 4ft wheel/tire combination of the Ford 350 Monster truck weighs in at a quarter of a ton, but that's no problem because its methanol-burning, supercharged 9.5 liter Chevy motor produces 1300 bhp and more than 1000 ft-lb of torque.

Economical it is not, delivering a jaw-dropping 50-60 yards per gallon thanks to its 4.5 tonne weight. Completing the over-the-top creation, the truck is fitted with a 600 psi air cannon capable of firing any object up to 650 kg (1,433 lb). Refrigerators go more than 80 yards (73 m), scooters (pictured) go a lot further.

Named Red Dragon, the monster was built by former European Monster Truck Champion, Rob Williams, and will be one of the many attractions at the Top Gear Live shows at NEC Birmingham (November 11 - 13) and ExCeL London (November 24 - 27).

16 comments
Alien
I realise small boys like big toys but in a world that\'s running out of resources, isn\'t this rather obscene?
James Davis
It burns methanol...
Eric Nyhof
I disagree Alien, I strongly disagree. I think we need to let people have fun like this. This is what pushes the world forward. As an inventor myself in the alternative energy and alternative transport field I find your attitude appalling.
We DO need to keep being extra frugal and vigilant with our daily resources(using less energy in our homes, cars and jobs, using vehicles and other systems that use less resources, heating with renewable energy such as waste-wood and switchgrass) that gives us a bit of leeway for motorsports and exotic designs. If we use 20% less resources in our lives, then we should have earned the right to use 5% on things like this. Because we are still being 15% more responsible than 90% of the world. And that 5% might be whats needed to invent the next big step in vehicular technology. Electric is a long way off and is actually only 40% efficient. Just 5% more efficient than a gasoline engine. 80% of the renewable energy systems available today are obscenely expensive.
If we don't let people dream and live that dream, we risk destroying any forward technological development. Businesses don't invent new ways to do things, people do. And 90% of the improvements in cars come from racing and other motorsports pushing the limits and trying new things and finding better ways to do things.
There are very, very few race cars and monster trucks in the whole world compared to the millions of regular cars and trucks. Hardly anything to be concerned with as to its eco-friendliness. Besides; you have to remember, this truck burns 100% Methanol, so he is burning a renewable fuel. So this "waste of resources" is actually MORE eco friendly than 99.9% of vehicles on the road!
It turns out that Methanol and Ethanol are more powerful per gallon than fossil fuels. So race cars, super cars, muscle cars and street tuners are all turning to this renewable fuel because its better for the engines, better for the planet and makes more horse power more safely.
Slowburn
Re Eric Bear Nyhof
Neither Methanol or Ethanol have as much energy per gallon as gasoline, and diesel is more energetic still. Methanol is mostly produced from natural gas, and the ease of storage and transfer make up for some of the energy loss of manufacturing it. (Being able to put a 20 liter can in the trunk makes up for a multitude of sins.) But Ethanol as a fuel is a disaster; it requires a huge energy input to produce, fertilizer, weed and pest control, fuel for the \'tractors\', Water, and distillation. While AGW is statist nonsense, fermentation releases vast quantities of CO2. You then end up with a fuel that will carry you about 5/8 as far per liter as gasoline, and will require a new pipelines if you don\'t want to transport it by trucks.
Theo Viljoen
...and what is the point of this thing?
Todd Dunning
Liberals like Alien live for moments like this - to puff up with sanctimony and tsk tsk at we poor stupid philistines.
But he doesn\'t understand that the joke is on him; this vehicle was made out of humor to poke fun at Eco-Bots and their miserable, negative view of the world.
Paul van Dinther
@Theo Viljoen
The point is to prove it can be done. To learn and generate new ideas that eventually benefit humanity as a whole. Many very useful inventions came from crazy guys doing things just because they can.
Why climb Mt Everest, why go to space? What is the point. Why Sky-diving, why even a beach walk?
Because it is enjoyable and fun. It makes life worth living. That is why.
johnniesazzler
@EBN, TD and PvD -
OK so monster trucks are great because we owe ourselves a little fun by using 20% fewer resources. When did that happen? I think I would\'ve noticed a drop in resource consumption of that magnitude. Or is it so that puffed-up, sanctimonious people have something to rail against? Really, as if there aren\'t enough serious issues to get fired up about. Oh, so it\'s to prove it can be done, to benefit humanity as a whole. Huh? So the two-thirds of humanity that don\'t have clean water or sufficient shelter will thank you for the creation of the monster truck? Gimme a break! Technically, monster trucks could\'ve been built in the 1940\'s or 50\'s. Building them now only proves how backward many people are, not how advanced.
Bill Bennett
I was about to say only in America, like Nascar and then reread the article, I agree Theo, it serves no purpose other than entertainment for the mass of MORONS on this planet, a waste, why not just put a stick of dynamite in a gallon of gasoline, for the yahoos to awe at, and Paul, sad that you can\'t see the difference between having fun in the natural world that you touched with you comment and this crap, sigh,, enngh
Francesco Ferrara
Yards per Gallon???? Why not foot per drop? English measure are so funny!