A number of unusual vehicles are on the track at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn MI this week. The Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize competition is now in the knockout stages, and the competitors have come to MIS to participate in a series of trials.
Wednesday and Thursday are media days as the testing was taking place on the 2-mile track. Testing includes City, Urban, and Highway segments. Rather than being a simple endurance race, there are speed limits and a number of starts and stops, in order to better simulate real-world driving conditions. At this point, competitors have to achieve at least 67 MPG equivalent and CO2 emissions of not more than 300g/mile or be knocked out of the competition.
The goal of the automotive X Prize is to promote the development of a new generation of viable, safe, affordable and super fuel efficient vehicles that people want to buy. The X Prize consists of Mainstream and Alternative class, with the Alternative further subdivided into side-by-side and tandem seating divisions. While performance is an important part of the competition, factors including manufacturability, marketability, safety, and durability are also part of the final evaluation. The Mainstream winner will receive $5 million of the total $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize purse, and $2.5 million apiece will also be awarded to the winner of each of the Alternative divisions.
There is also an opportunity to win $3000 in the fan voting. We'll have more coverage from this stage of the X Prize here on EcoGeek. The final winners are scheduled to be announced in September.
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