27th July 2010, 09:07
Join Date: Jul 2007
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TATA is OUT Consumer Reports Cars Blog: Automotive X Prize competition shows [some] 100-mpg cars can go the distance
| Automotive X Prize competition shows [some] 100-mpg cars can go the distance |
The intensity of the competition for the $10 million, 100-mpg [COLOR=#176fcc]Automotive X Prize[/COLOR] is getting in to high gear.
On Friday, all 12 teams, fielding 15 cars, took to the high-banked oval at Michigan International Speedway to prove they can go the distance in the range test. This test requires Mainstream contestants, essentially those with four seats, to go 200 miles without refueling. Alternative contestants, having two seats, only have to make the 100-mile mark. On Thursday, the teams competed in the mileage competition, when all the teams had to prove they could get 100 mpg.
Not all the contenders could clear such a high hurdle, however. Four of the 15 cars were eliminated from the competition: The gas-powered [COLOR=#176fcc]Spira[/COLOR] and electric Commuter Cars [COLOR=#176fcc]Tango[/COLOR] were unable to meet the minimum fuel economy requirement. [COLOR=#176fcc]Amp[/COLOR], Tango, and[COLOR=#176fcc]Tata[/COLOR] (all electric cars) fell short in the 100-mile range test (in Tataís case, because the car was having mechanical problems and didnít make it to the test.) The Amp and Tango also exceeded minimum CO2 emissions threshold.
Continuing in the competition are two gas-powered cars from the [COLOR=#176fcc]Edison2[/COLOR] team in the Mainstream class, and electric cars from [COLOR=#176fcc]Aptera[/COLOR], Li-ion Motors [COLOR=#176fcc]Wave[/COLOR], [COLOR=#176fcc]Raceabout[/COLOR], [COLOR=#176fcc]TW4XP[/COLOR], [COLOR=#176fcc]Western Washington University[/COLOR] (the only hybrid remaining in the competition), two [COLOR=#176fcc]Xtracers[/COLOR], and [COLOR=#176fcc]ZAP[/COLOR] in the Alternative classes.
On Monday, the remaining cars again will have to prove they can make it through Consumer Reportsí challenging performance tests, including safely negotiating our accident avoidance maneuver at a minimum of 45 mph, braking from 60 mph in no more than 170 ft, and accelerating to 60 mph in less than 15 seconds for Mainstream cars and less than 18 seconds for Alternative cars.
Teams that clear all those hurdles will race on Tuesday. The race is a tie-breaking event, in case multiple teams in a class meet all the other requirements. The team that completes the mandatory range, while getting at least 100 mpg in the shortest time wins the race. (Though they canít drive faster than 70 mph or slower than 45.)
We'll be at Michigan International Speedway on Monday and Tuesday to keep you abreast of all the results.
-- Eric Evarts