Bluebird plans unaffected by show cancellation

The cancellation of next weekend’s Sustainable MotoExpo will not hinder plans by British engineering firm Bluebird to begin customer deliveries next year of its new electric sports cars, the DC50. An advanced pre-production version of the vehicle was due to be unveiled at the event by UK business minister Vince Cable, along with news of several new racing, engineering and development projects.

“We’ve had to fundamentally reschedule how we launch the DC50,” Martin Rees, head of Bluebird Performance Engineering, told Current E this morning. “The Sustainable MotoExpo was a convenient opportunity to get the concept seen ahead of production next year. But this doesn’t affect our plans to have the first cars delivered to customers in time for July 17.”

The July date will mark 50 years since Donald Campbell set a world land speed record that, at 403.1mph, stood as the fastest by a wheel-driven car until the turn of the century. That year is doubly significant to the Bluebird legend as 1964 is when Campbell also broke the water speed record, becoming the first and only person to achieve both in the same year.

The arrival of the DC50 in 2014 is intended to commemorate both the event and the man, neatly echoed in the initials and the number – the total units that will be made on the limited production run. Bluebird had also announced plans to race in the inaugural season of Formula E, due to begin September 2014, with ambitious plans to build its own car with which to contend the championship. Those plans may be on hold following the decision of the sport’s promoter FEH to hold a one-make series in the first year.

Despite disappointment at the show cancellation, Rees is adamant that Bluebird will continue to support the Sustainable MotoExpo. “It’s a good event to support and has excellent principles,” he commented. “We also have a long association with Beaulieu, and the chance to have the biggest collection of Bluebird cars there at one time is a great opportunity. We’ll support it in the Spring.”

In the meantime, Bluebird finds itself short of platforms suited to the high-profile launch event. “It will be a week or two before we have settled on an appropriate means of launching the DC50,” said Rees.  

Look out for a full interview with Martin Rees here next week, where as well as Bluebird’s Formula E plans, he talks sports cars, speedboats and a 500mph electric car.

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