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SMV Team Comes in Fifth with 843 MPG

The UMass Amherst Supermileage (SMV) Team finished in fifth place at the Society of Automotive Engineers Supermileage® competition, held on June 7 and 8 at the Eaton Corporation Proving Grounds in Marshall, Michigan. The UMass team’s streamlined, three-wheel car finished the course with a whopping 843 miles per gallon! “As usual, we ran into a number of technical difficulties, which included killing an engine, two batteries, and a starter motor, but we persevered,” says SMV faculty advisor Jonathan Rothstein of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department. There were nearly 30 collegiate teams entered in this year's competition representing schools from Canada, Mexico, Pakistan, and the United States.

“I am really proud of these kids,” adds Rothstein.

Hosted by Eaton Corporation since its inception more than 30 years ago as a way to generate public awareness in the area of fuel economy, the competition offers a simple yet challenging goal: to build a one-person, fuel-efficient vehicle based around a one-cylinder, four-cycle engine. Engines are donated by Briggs & Stratton, and then each team “soups them down” to squeeze every drop of fuel out of them. In this competition, the highest mpg average over the 9.6-mile course wins the event.

Supermileage® is part of SAE International’s Collegiate Design Series™. SAE International is a global association of more than 133,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive, and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International's core competencies are life-long learning and voluntary consensus standards development. (June 2012)