Full Steam Ahead!


Once again SF has been leading the way … this time it is steampunk (characterised most famously by Gibson & Sterling’s The Difference Engine and Paul De Fillipo’s Steampunk Trilogy) that has predicted advances in our own lives. A frequent motif in steampunk (defined by Wikipedia as ‘set in the past, or a world resembling the past, in which modern technological paradigms occurred earlier in history, but were accomplished via the science already present in that time period’) is steam powered cars. Well good news BMW has finally taken us there – or at least a twenty-first century version of this with the introduction of the turbosteamer concept. This uses energy from the exhaust gasses of the traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) to power a steam engine which also contributes power to the automobile – an overall 15 per cent improvement for the combined drive system. Even bigger news is that the drive has been designed so that it can be installed in existing model series – meaning that every model in the BMW range could become 15% more efficient overnight if the company chose to make the reduced consumption accessible to as many people as possible!

One comment

    mrs gamp

    December 15, 2005

    Has anyone notice that perhaps the original Steampunk author was Charles Dickens?!

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