2015 Unveil | Aurum

Photo by EPIK Studios

Photo by EPIK Studios

It's finally here.

It has been 642 days since the 2013 World Solar Challenge came to a close. Despite a devastating crash during the race, our team still managed to pull of a top-ten finish after spending all night repairing Generation, our team's 12th vehicle. From the day the race ended, our team has been hard at work to bring the world something better. Something faster. Something that breaks down all the records that have been set already.

We are excited to show the world what have made possible.

This morning, we unveiled our team's 13th vehicle, Aurum. With a sleek new aerobody, and top knotch electrical and mechanical systems, Aurum is the ultimate electric vehicle.

An asymmetrical catamaran body designed by the team's Aerodynamics Division is projected to be more aerodynamic than any vehicle that our team has ever produced, including three-wheel designs, and designs allowing the driver to be in a much more laid-down position. The power losses from the electrical system has been minimized through innovative design. The mechanical systems have been optimized for weight reduction and an increase in overall strength and reliability. Every aspect of our designs have gone through countless iterations to produce this icon of sustainable engineering.

Green energy is the future, and although our design is still far from the average electric vehicle, it is one step closer to becoming your daily ride. A change in the regulations for the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge requires the charging of the vehicle to not use any external stands, and our new car incorporates a charging stand into the body of the vehicle that can be adjusted for finding the optimal charging angle.

Another major change in design is more visually apparent in the car's race configuration. On the drivers side, the body of the car follows the lines of the driver's shoulder, and blends the chassis and the lower body's shape together to form the outside wall. The canopy's smooth lines are dictated in size by a carbon fiber roll cage inside that protects the driver from impact, and allows us to minimize the height from not needing additional area that a metal roll cage would take up. The main airfoil's thickness is slimmer than ever before.

The next step is to prove Aurum's capabilities at the World Solar Challenge. We have built a car, and we are building a team that will be ready to win the world. We are just over 3 months out from the start of the race, and there is still much work to be done, but we wouldn't be the University of Michigan Solar Car Team if we weren't up for the challenge. 

Stay connected with the team via Facebook, Twitter, and umsolar.com.