Engineering a national victory
The college's Team Paradigm tied for first place overall in this year's FutureCar Challenge, a year-long, 13-team competition sponsored by the Department of Energy and the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), which represents Chrysler, Ford and GM.
The goal is to accomplish what many people not long ago believed to be impossible -- doubling the over-the-road fuel efficiency of a mid-size American car without sacrificing safety, comfort and performance. Team Paradigm's modified Ford Taurus uses a hybridized drive train, featuring a prototype 1.8 liter Ford European diesel engine. Thanks to Milwaukee Tool's donation of 65 "fat pack" battery packs, the engineers also assembled and incorporated a 1.8 kwh, 240-volt battery pack weighing only 110 pounds.
In addition to sharing first place in the overall standings, the UW-Madison team tied for best over-the-road fuel efficiency, and was recognized for demonstrating the fewest vehicle driving losses, the best use of advanced materials and the best teamwork. The team also received the first-ever "Innovations in Aluminum Award" from The Aluminum Association, one of the competition's sponsors. Weighing in at 2,976 pounds, "AluminumCow" was the lightest entry ever in FutureCar competition. (67K JPG)