Chocolate-powered race car unveiled

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The headline's pretty wild, but the real story gets even weirder.

Researchers at the University of Warwick in London announced that they have created a race car whose fuel is not gasoline, but, get this: waste products from nearby chocolate factories.

The car, called the WorldFirst Formula 3, actually gets its go from vegetable oils and chocolate waste that has been turned into biofuel. And while it's not a new idea to employ already-used vegetable oil (such as that from restaurants) for fuel in cars with diesel engines, it's the "chocolate waste" part that gives this one a twist. (I'm not exactly sure what chocolate waste is, and the story doesn't say. Any guesses?) Another big twist is the fact that the car's researchers hope the thing will go 145 mph, The Associated Press reports.

But wait! It gets even weirder, because the car itself is made from plants, as in the things that grow in the soil.

In a news release, Dr. Kerry Kirwan from the research team said: "Components made from plants form the mainstay of the car's make up, including a race specification steering wheel derived from carrots and other root vegetables, a flax fiber and soybean oil foam racing seat, a woven flax fiber bib, plant-oil based lubricants and a biodiesel engine configured to run on fuel derived from waste chocolate and vegetable oil.

It also incorporates a radiator coated in a ground-breaking emission destroying catalyst." So far, the car's makers say they've gotten the vehicle up to 60 mph, and are making final adjustments to the engine before its go at a top speed.

The car is said to meet all Formula 3 racing standards, except for its engine; Formula 3 cars currently cannot use biodiesel.

But who knows? The WorldFirst may lay the groundwork for both racing and passenger cars to come.

I can only imagine that folks in Hershey, Pa., would be all too glad to see something like it arrive there.

Credit: The Orange County Register, Calif.