How eco is the Splinter, the sports car made of wood?

Wood used to be commonplace in automobiles. That's why Ford once bought large chunks of forest in Northern Michigan. Today, though, we don't see much in the way of wood in vehicles, especially not on the exterior. But that didn't stop the students at North Carolina State University from creating the Splinter, a sports car made with wood composites.

This thing won't ever get made - it's graduate project, and the students said that "we aren't trying to sell anything, we aren't trying to save the world, and we aren't advocating that everyone should drive a wooden car. This project is a scholastic endeavor in which we are simply trying to explore materials, learn, share ideas, and stimulate creativity" - but the students did find a lot of interesting ways to integrate wood and a high-performance twin-supercharged Northstar V8 engine into a sleek sports car body. The muffler, as you can see in a picture over at Winding Road, is on top of the rear end to help dissipate heat better. Wood finds its way into the chassis and parts of the suspension and wheels as well as the body. And hey, if the termites get into your hood, you'll know what to do with them.

Head on over to Autoblog for more images of the Splinter in this gallery.

[Source: Winding Road via Autoblog]

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