ANN ARBOR, Mich. The University of Michigan on Friday (May 23) unveiled its newest solar car design which it claims is even better than last year's award winning "M-Pulse." This year's entry,
dubbed the "SpectruM" adds 1,000 more solar cells plus a passenger seat.
"We are the only solar car team to have won the American Solar
Challenge three times, and we think this year's SpectruM is going to be
another winner," said Neal Lao, spokesman for the College of
The SpectruM is the University of Michigan's seventh entry since
joining the competition in 1989. Last year's M-Pulse not only won the
American Solar Challenge, but also won third place in the World Solar
Challenge against better-funded commercial entries.
SpectruM adds 1,000 more solar cells, for 5,000 total, plus a backwards-facing passenger seat. The additions increase the car's weight by 200 pounds to 800 pounds. Still, developers said the solar car should be faster than last year's modelclocking 75 mph at top speed and 15 seconds to go from 0 to 60-mph.
Over 150 students helped build the SpectruM, most from the College of Engineering. The racing team will compete in the American Solar Challenge, racing 2200 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles in July. In October the World Solar Challenge will run 1,800 miles from Darwin to Adelaide, Australia.