Recently, much attention has been given to the negative impact that cars have on the environment, especially their carbon footprint. Each car can represent up to 10 tons of carbon emissions.

In an effort to address these concerns, former Dell executive Bruce Dietzen has made a high-performance car using hemp materials that is both carbon neutral and can be made to run on biofuel. The car is known as the Renew.

Hemp — the cannabis cousin legally defined as containing 0.3% THC or less — is one of the most carbon-absorbing plants in the world. Each ton of hemp represents 1.63 tons of carbon absorption.

The first car made from hemp was created in 1941; it was made by Henry Ford. Incredibly, that one-of-a-kind car made from hemp fiber and other plant material was two and a half times more carbon neutral than today’s electric cars.

The Renew sports car seeks to pick up where Ford left off, but in carbon technology only. Made in Key West, Florida from roughly 100 pounds of hemp, the Renew is a true sports car that can be configured to 80 horsepower or a 525 horsepower dragster with a Flyin’ Miata drivetrain. Weighing just 2500 lbs, the turbo package gives a weight-to-horsepower ratio comparable to a Porsche 911 Cabriole.

Another advantage of a hemp body is its durability. In a recent appearance on Jay Leno’s Garage, Jay and Bruce show off the strength of the Renew body with some healthy whacks on the hood with a hammer.

Note: Photography by François Bota, courtesy of The Hemponair.

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