Students at the Universite Laval engineering college in Quebec have won the Shell ‘Eco-marathon Americas’ contest for internal combustion engines. They did so with their Alérion Supermileage car. The car has managed to achieve 2,713.1 miles per gallon of gasoline.
The annual contest/event is run by Shell as a way of furthering the development of fuel-efficient vehicles. These ‘Supermileage’ vehicles are aerodynamic wonders that are stripped down to only the most essential elements required for their speed and safety.
Much of the Alérion spec has to remain a secret (thus maintaining their competitive edge). However, the car itself incorporates a Briggs & Stratton single cylinder 3.5 horsepower engine (with alterations of course) and in addition, thin tires minimize surface area friction and a carbon-fibre chassis keeps the whole car extremely lightweight.
Over 100 student teams participated in the competition, under two vehicle classes. Firstly, the ‘UrbanConcept’ category where cars compete in real-life road needs. Secondly, the ‘Prototype Cars’ category works with more futuristic and streamlined vehicles.
The winning car by Universite Laval was entered in the Prototype category. All vehicular improvement is greatly appreciated as part of the even bigger race to save our environment! Way to go guys!