Monday, March 21, 2011

Speed pits minivan versus pickup in jet engine warfare

by Aaron Richardson

There are two ways to do jet-powered vehicles. On one hand, you have the deliciously simple and effective method of strapping a used jet engine to a car or truck, and letting the thrust do the rest.

On the other, slightly more complicated side, you can attach a turbine to a shaft drive, translating the thrust to the rear wheels via a differential. Both are viable, albeit expensive, ways of adding jet propulsion to your car. But which is faster?

Speed took it upon itself to find out, pitting a thrust-powered Chevrolet S-10 against a shaft-driven Dodge Caravan. The Caravan uses a helicopter engine hooked to its rear wheels in conjunction with its standard gas engine up front. The truck relies solely on good, old-fashioned thrust.

Car Science: Jet Truck vs Minivan