The land speed record for steam-powered cars has been establish in 1906 at 127.659 mph and remained unchanged since then. Now, after 100 years a british team complete with lady driver, will make an attempt to break it.

The equipment will include the usual paraphernalia: toolkits, laptop computers, timing gear, safety equipment and, of course, the car - a sleek missile on wheels finished in British Racing Green. The fuel will be quite unusual, however. Instead of petrol, diesel or aviation spirit, the team will carry only bottles of camping gas and a large quantity of water. With this curious mixture, they aim to set a new world land speed record for steam-powered vehicles of 200mph.

The engine is a 320bhp steam turbine that can deliver 270lb ft of torque (equivalent to a BMW M3) from standstill. It will be powered by four monotube boilers fired by liquid petroleum gas, the statistics of which make alarming reading. Water is fed to the boilers from pressurised tanks at a rate of 40 litres a minute. By the time it arrives at the turbines, has been transformed into superheated steam racing through the pipes at 1,000 metres a second.


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