LCC Rocket – The Lightest Car Ever Made
This petite thing you're looking at here is the lightest car that's ever been, and is ever likely to be made.
Christmas is coming, which means we'll all soon be going up our lofts for our trees and decorations. Some of us may even find presents from last year up there that'd been forgotten – like I did, when I was a child. I was absolutely thrilled beyond words – until I opened it to find that it was a puppy. I'm still attending counselling for that today.
But amongst all the tinsel and trimmings, last minute shopping and present wrapping, eating twice your body weight in Ferraro Rocher and exercising a masterclass in restraint in not attacking carol singers with the carving knife, Christmas ultimately means one thing: crap TV!!
Once upon a time, you used to be able to look forward to Christmas television – but nowadays, it's almost like the TV channels gather all the shittest things that have ever been recorded for human viewing, and plaster it all over everywhere especially for the festive period. This ultimately leads to much channel scrolling, which ultimately leads to the discovery of a little competition called World's Strongest Man.
Broadcast every Christmas, the World's Strongest Man competition aims to find out who is the strongest human being alive on planet Earth today – which inevitably will get the feminists seething. Unless you've seen it, you will be unable to comprehend just how strong these men are, and the enormous weights they pick up off the ground – which for deadlifts, can reach up to half a tonne (1102lbs).
If a man then can lift 500kg clean off the floor, they'd have no problem in lifting the LCC Rocket, which at 381kg (840lbs), is the lightest production car ever made.
Looking at it, it's hardly surprising it holds such an accolade. Designed by Gordon Murray, and built using the expertise of ex-racing driver Chris Craft, the Rocket is just about as basic as a car can possibly get. The only way to make it more hardcore would be to remove the body and leave the tubular frame bare, like an Ariel Atom. But even the Atom – despite not even having an outer skin – is still 119kg (262lbs) heavier than the Rocket.
Due to the fact that the Rocket is light enough to make a feather look heavy, it doesn't need a huge amount of power in order to be fast. In fact, it utilises a 1070cc 4-cylinder Yamaha bike-engine, that produces a modest 143bhp. But that's still enough to launch it from 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds!
Since it's powered by a motorcycle engine, you know that the speed will be accompanied by lots of revs. And indeed, the Rocket keeps revving all the way to 12,000rpm. Along with the bike engine comes a 5-speed bike gearbox, that is connected via a chain to the differential that can swap between low and high ratio, depending on what the driver requires.
Despite the fact that the Rocket appears to resemble a single seater racing car, there is – surprise surprise – a passenger seat wedged behind the driver. To be fair, the seat is not so much for a passenger as a volunteer who's both thin and keen enough to accept the contortion challenge. I wouldn't bother being a passenger in this car however; not if you don't want your face to act as the driver's headrest, and therefore be crushed under the force of the acceleration.
If this article has resulted in you seeing the Rocket for the first time, then it may come as a shock to learn that this car first saw the light of day in 1992. It didn't exactly fly off the shelves, with only 46 being made between '92 and when production ended in 1998. Then, in 2007, a further 6 cars were built using spare chassis from the original run of cars that hadn't been used. The later cars had more power – 171bhp, to be precise. LCC did plan on doing a supercharged version with 220bhp – but that car unfortunately never materialised.
To this day, the Rocket remains the lightest car ever produced, and even though you should never say never, I can't really see there ever being a lighter car. Fortuitous really, as "LCC" stands for "Light Car Company".
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Written by: Angelo Uccello
Tribe: Speed Machines
Facebook: Speed Machines - DriveTribe
Photo Credits: Autoevolution