What's the fuel of the future? Electricity? Hydrogen? For Hauk Designs in Pennsylvania, it's steam. The Chambersburg-based car modification garage has created a crazy steam-powered Jeep Wrangler, and named it the Loco Hauk.
Usually powered by a four-cylinder or V6 petrol engine, Hauk Designs has ripped out the Wrangler's innards and replaced them with a 1.6-litre V4 steam engine, pinched straight from the 1960s.
Though the new engine only produces around 130bhp, it makes up for that with a stratospheric torque figure of over 3000Nm – that's 10 times what even most sports cars can produce. To cope with the massive torque, the Wrangler's six-speed manual gearbox has been replaced with just three speeds – high forward, low forward, and reverse.
Though the front hasn't been changed up too much, the rear of the vehicle has been extensively modified to cope with the new powertrain. A 250-litre water tank joins a boiler and a kerosene burner to create the steam – there's no coal here. To cope with the added weight, the Wrangler has been given a third axle, turning it into a six wheeler.
Hauk Design says the Loco Hauk is a mix between an off-roader and a steam train. To that end, it's modified the interior with plenty of steam-appropriate features, like an 1800s locomotive steam gauge, and controls lifted from a water well. It's also got a bespoke steering wheel and upgraded stereo.
It's unlikely the Loco Hauk is the most environmentally friendly vehicle around, but it's definitely very theatrical.