The Audi Mesarthim F-Tron Quattro Concept Is Fukushima on Wheels

Audi Mesarthim F-Tron Concept 11 photos
Photo: Grigory Gorin
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The prospect of harnessing the nuclear fusion to produce energy is definitely not something new, but the process was always thought of on a much bigger scale than our passenger cars.
It's not just power plants that use atomic energy, but also vehicles. Submarines have been doing it for quite a while, taking advantage of the immense range provided which allows them to remain at sea for very long periods of time. So why not use it for personal transportation solutions as well?

There was this song that Bob Marley used to sing - and then, later on, punk rock legend Joe Strummer - called "Redemption Song," and one of its verses said "Have no fear for atomic energy, 'cause none of them can stop the time." Well, that's technically true, but what good is the passage of time when there's nobody left to acknowledge it?

The fact is, generating atomic energy using nuclear fusion isn't simple, and it also requires some highly radioactive chemical elements you wouldn't want to spend too much time around unless you like having three arms and no kids. But apart from that, it's one of those situations where the slightest mistake or malfunction can have catastrophic results. See the recent Fukushima disaster or, a little further down the road, the 1986 Chernobyl incident.

Which makes it somewhat funny that the one person who thought making a nuclear-powered car was a good idea comes from Russia, the country that was running the Chernobyl plant at the time (that was before the USSR broke). His name is Grigory Gorin and he chose Audi to be the brand that pioneers this solution.

Grigory is a car designer, but his sketch of the Audi Mesarthim F-Tron Quattro concept contains a somewhat detailed structure of the vehicle's insides, with every bit that makes the wheels spin having a very clearly defined place.

The design itself is best described as odd-futuristic, with the two seats pushed very far up front and a rear that looks like the carcass of a goat after three hungry tigers finished playing with it. Or maybe something else. But the best part has got to be the glass canopy that lifts and slides forward, easing the access into the car that wasn't helped at all by the diminutive doors.

Like all devices that use atomic energy, it is actually a glorified steam engine. Unlike the previous locomotives, the water vapors don't generate motion directly, but spin a turbine instead that powers a generator. So, yes, the Mesarthim is essentially an electric vehicle.

We'll let you try to decipher all the components of the powertrain from Grigory's pictures - be warned, the terrible font won't make it easy - but just before you start imagining the multitude of mushroom clouds that would pop up everywhere each time there was a crash, you can forget about it. The costs to build such a car would be way too high. On the other hand, it could power the whole neighborhood on its own, so you would be making money off it.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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