Driven by coffee?

We all need a strong coffee to get us going in the morning – but this 1988 Scirocco actually runs on coffee. And no, it’s not April 1st!

The process is simple and actually quite brilliant. Coffee is brewed in the gas cylinder and broken down into hydrogen and carbon monoxide, then cooled, filtered and fed into the engine where it burns to fuel the car.

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Sadly, you won’t be too surprised to learn it doesn’t go very far or travel very fast although top speed is 60mph and you have to pull over for a top up every 40 miles. Like the black stuff itself at home (and we suspect this is the worst bit) you have to stop every 60 miles to clean out the filter and get rid of the old granules.

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Meanwhile, if you thought this might be a good, cheap alternative to a diesel – think again, because at just three miles per kilo of ground coffee – which is about 56 espressos per mile – you’ll need pretty deep pockets to run it.

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It was originally built by a team from the BBC1 programme ‘Bang Goes the Theory’ in 2010 and completed a 210 mile trip from London to Manchester. Code-named the Car-puccino, the Rocco was bought on eBay for £400 and resembles the DeLorean in ‘Back to the Future’ with its external pipework, cylinders and huge cooling element on the roof. It cost the team just £700 to build, with much of the work taking place at the home of the show’s presenter, Jem Stansfield, in Brighton.

What happened to the car after the show is unknown but given its thirst for the black stuff, look out for it parked behind your local Starbucks or Costa Coffee…


The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of VW Heritage






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