The Cal Poly engineering department has more awards for its trophy case. Mustang engineers won first place in a contest to design a vehicle that can go the farthest on the least amount of fuel. Competing in the internal combustion engine group, the team's "Cal Poly Supermileage" vehicle won the Shell Eco-marathon Americas competition after posting 1,902.7 miles-per-gallon. That was nearly 300 miles-per-gallon better than the second place finisher.
# Cal Poly also won the overall grand prize at the event, held at the California Speedway in Fontana on April 14. The team was awarded $11,600.
By the looks of the vehicle closer to a plastic tadpole than a conventional car it isn't quite ready for highway use. Mechanical engineering professor Joe Mellow, faculty advisor to the team, said that it only had to travel at 15 mph. Still, team members said they hope the science behind it can point the way.
"It's important to be involved in programs like the Shell Eco-marathon to make people aware of what we can achieve in future transportation," mechanical engineering major Tom Heckel, team manager for Cal Poly's Supermileage team, said in a press release. "I hope teams like ours will help shape the vehicles people drive years from now and those vehicles will be made environmentally friendly."
The Shell Eco-marathon is intended to inspire students to help provide mobility that's cleaner, safer, more efficient, and more affordable, organizers said.
This was the U.S. debut of the Shell Eco-marathon after 20 years of competition in Europe and the United Kingdom.