Teams take on this project on the assumption that they are a manufacturer developing a prototype to be evaluated for production. The target audience is the non-professional weekend racer. The car should have good driving characteristics like acceleration, braking and handling. It should be offered at a reasonable cost and be reliable and dependable. Additionally, the car’s market value increases through other factors such as aesthetics, comfort and the use of readily available, standard purchase components.
This isn’t solely an engineering based event, because there are other factors to consider, like the labour of the manufacturing processes, the business viability of the product i.e. the racecar, the finance that goes into the cars production and all management that goes with it, and finally the on road performance of the car on the track which is via the driving skills of the driver, making it an overall development experience rather than just an academic experience.
Autocross tests the cars dynamic ability in a one lap sprint. Two drivers are given two attempts at the course. The objective of the autocross event is to evaluate the car's maneuverability and handling qualities on a tight course without the hindrance of competing cars. The autocross course will combine the performance features of acceleration, braking, and cornering into one event.
The Endurance event is 22 kilometers long driven on a track similar to Autocross. Two drivers each drive half of the distance with a mandatory pit stop at the midpoint. The car must stop and start under its own power and no refueling or repairs are allowed. A team must finish Endurance in order to earn any points from Efficiency or Endurance.
The objective of the Skid Pad event is to measure the car's lateral grip on a flat surface while making a constant radius turn.The car has to complete a time trial on a track figure of 8 laid out on track to determine its performance.
The Acceleration event evaluates the car's acceleration in a straight line, from a standing start, over a distance of 75 meters.
The objective of the Business Presentation is to evaluate the team's ability to develop and deliver a comprehensive business plan that will convince the executives of a corporation that the team's car design best meets the demands of the amateur, weekend competition market.
Students create a detailed report of all costs associated with materials, processes, and assembly of the car. Points are awarded based on total car cost and report quality. Finally, students must complete a 'Real Case Scenario' challenge to reduce cost in specified areas based on input from event organizers.
During this event students must present their knowledge of the car and engineering concepts to a panel of judges. At most events there are multiple rounds of design, each with increasingly difficult questions and longer sessions. The first round involves all teams, and focuses on fundamental knowledge.