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UrbanConcept vs. Prototype
Although the fundamental concept for all vehicles competing in Shell Eco-marathon across the globe is the same – to design and build a vehicle that travels the farthest distance using the least amount of energy – the rules and dimensions depend on which vehicle class a team chooses to enter. There are two types of classes: UrbanConcept and Prototype.
Under the UrbanConcept class, teams design and build 4-wheeled fuel-economy vehicles that look similar to the passenger cars we see on the road today. In addition to meeting specific height, width, length and weight criteria, the UrbanConcept vehicles must be capable of driving in light, wet weather conditions.
Therefore, vehicles must have windshield wipers and tires with a standard automotive tread depth. They must also be able to “stop & go” driving and have the ability to remain stationary with the engine running. The vehicles also need brake lights, headlights and turn indicators which must be used during the competition.
On the other hand, Prototype vehicles are typically smaller in size and more futuristic-looking, with the overall design concept to reduce drag and maximize efficiency. Vehicles in this class are one-seated, built with three or four wheels and have an opened- or closed-top driver compartment.
Further information on the official rules for Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2012 can be found here.