No, this isn't a Dyson vacuum that's been knocked over and fitted with a rocket engine. Instead, you're looking at the Bloodhound SSC, the latest vehicle to chase the land speed record.
As could be expected, it's certainly an ungainly thing - the rocket-shaped vehicle measures 12.8 meters long and weighs 6400 kg - but it may be more unusual than we anticipated. Though details are a bit sketchy, the press release mentions the Bloodhound SSC is powered by an "exotic combination" of jet, rocket, and piston-engine power. Now that's a hybrid... From what we understand, the rocket's charged mainly with propelling the car to high speeds. Though it's good for that, it's unable to hold selected speeds, hence the addition of a Eurojet EJ200 jet engine kicks in. The piston engine? We hear the 800-hp V-12 engine serves mostly as an auxiliary power source and a fuel pump. More unusual is the staggered approach to breaking the 1000-mph record. Piloted by Andy Green and Richard Noble - both land-speed record veterans themselves - the Bloodhound's debut in 2009 will aim only for 800 mph. The team plans on breaking the 900-mph mark in 2010, and the cherished 1000 mph in 2011. Source: Bloodhound SSC