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VW Bio Runner sprints in. Image by VW.

VW Bio Runner sprints in
Volkswagen unleashes attack of the drones with its Bio Runner concept for the LA Design Challenge.
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Showing the kind of creative thinking that spawned Flight of the Navigator back in the '80s, the VW Bio Runner (designed for the 2008 LA Design Challenge) not only makes ecologically-minded racing genuinely appealing, it also has its own drone.

Firstly the race series: the 'One Tank Unlimited Solo Class', as VW's awkward name goes, has one rule: the driver can only have one ten-gallon tank of fuel. There's no word on how long the course is, but seemingly the ten gallon limit is only just enough to complete it. Each competitor must use 'every bit of technology, strategy and wit to finish'. Sounds good to us.

Then there's the car, which absolutely eschews VW's penchant for the conservative and replaces it with a 2025 motorbike-meets-car-meets-Tron fantasy. The single-seat cabin allows the Bio Runner to tilt and pitch like a bike for more fluid and precise movement, and higher cornering speed - though speed in general isn't a problem thanks to a pair of turbine engines running on jet fuel at 500,000rpm. The fuel is bio-synthetic, of course.

It gets better, because in a classic case of Friday afternoon over-excitement, the VW/Audi Design Centre Team decided to endow the Bio Runner with its own flying drone. Nice. The 'Arial Reconnaissance Drone' is supposed to take video of the track ahead when the conditions are bad, and repair the car in the event of a crash. But we reckon there's a better use for it than that...

Grid Position: 2/9

Early Retirement or Podium Finish: Finishes a close second via a combination of jet-fuelled speed and sending the drone out to put the other drivers off.

Mark Nichol - 22 Oct 2008

2025 VW Bio Runner concept. Image by VW.2025 VW Bio Runner concept. Image by VW.2025 VW Bio Runner concept. Image by VW.2025 VW Bio Runner concept. Image by VW.2025 VW Bio Runner concept. Image by VW.    - Volkswagen road tests
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