Thursday, August 10, 2017

WSC 2017 Update: August 10th

We lost another team off the official teams list this week: Proton (the new team from Sudan) has been removed, so we're down to 44 entries.

Three teams unveiled this week (RVCE, NIT, and ITU) - and Siam Tech took their Cruiser car for a public test drive.

We also have five more scheduled unveiling events on the calendar: Blue Sky on August 14th, NWU on the 22nd, JU on the 28th, and both WSU and Adelaide University on the 29th.

Challenger Class

Status: Unveiled! Michigan unveiled Novum on July 7th.

No news this week.

Status: Unveiled! Nuon unveiled Nuna 9 on July 25th.

Not much news this week; the team has been posting some testing videos to Facebook.

The team posted a nice photo of Nuna8 and Nuna9 together, with the big trophy lurking in the background...

Photo: Jorrit Lousberg
(image source)

4: Antakari

No news this week.

7: Adelaide University

Status: Unveiling scheduled. The team has announced that Lumen II will be unveiled on August 29th.

No news this week.

8: Punch Powertrain

Status: Unveiled! Punch unveiled Punch Two on June 21st. It will ship for Australia around August 20th.

The team has been doing a fair amount of testing, including a fair amount in the rain; they've posted a video to their own YouTube. I also spotted a news article with a video - there's a shot around 1:27 that gives a clear view down the tunnel:

There's a very strange structure in the driver compartment right now - a galvanized pipe structure around the driver's head. You can see it starting at 1:15 in their YouTube video, and again at 1:38. It's apparently hinged at the top, to allow the driver to get out. You can see how it fits around the driver for 10 seconds starting at 1:30 in the news video.

On the one hand, I like to see teams make a bigger commitment to protecting the driver's head - and if there's any team that knows why, it's Punch. On the other hand... it's an extremely crude part, and I really doubt that it's a part that will be installed on the car in Australia. While I hope they show up to WSC with a better version of it, I suspect it's just a temporary measure to comply with requirements of the circuit that they're testing at.

Finally: Look, Michigan! A team showing off their wheel spats!

so secret!

10: Tokai

No news this week. With Proton out, this is the very last Challenger team for which we have zero details. They unveiled their car on August 27th (a Thursday) in 2015 and didn't announce the date until two days ahead of time, so I don't expect any news for at least two more weeks.

No news this week.

15: WSU

Status: Unveiling scheduled. WSU announced an official unveiling date: August 29th.

Not too much news this week - more car painting, and the first of what appears to be a series of team member interview/pop quiz videos.

16: Stanford

Status: Unveiled! Stanford unveiled Sundae on July 1st.

The team is really going all-in on the ice cream sundae theme. They've also been out doing their first test drive. In a comment on this Instagram post, the team mentions that the car is scheduled to ship at the end of August.

(Crow's landing airfield! Geez, that takes me back...)

18: UiTM EcoPhoton

Not much this week - the team was featured in a news article, but there aren't really any details about the team's progress. However, it looks like there were some construction photos in the print version that didn't make it onto the web version.

20: Durham

Status: Shipped! Durham shipped their car to Australia on July 18th.

No news this week.

21: Twente

Status: Unveiled! Twente unveiled Red Shift on June 23rd.

The team has been doing a lot of testing - they posted a video featuring some shots when the car was at a wind tunnel back in early July, as well as some newer driving shots. They've also posted a video from a race simulation, including some driving on public roads. It was a full simulation, up to and including fake control stops with fake timing sheets. Maybe I shouldn't read anything into how they ordered the teams ;)

Protip, everyone: talk to your videographers! Tell them about what you do - and don't - want them to shoot. When you don't talk to them, you'll end up having to blur out a quarter of the frame on large parts of a finished video (I'm really curious what they think we could make out inside the car from this drone shot that got blurred as well).

Finally, the team has announced that the car will ship to Australia around August 17th - near the end of next week.

22: MDH

Status: Unveiled! The team unveiled way back on May 31st.

Last week, I missed a video on both their Facebook and Instagram of the chassis doing a slalom test - apparently from earlier in the spring. The video quality on Facebook is potato-like, and while the Instagram one is much crisper, IG defaults to cropping to a square format so the best views of the front suspension are missing (general request to everyone, host your videos on a real video platform, please?)

Video issues aside, we can see a lot of details. The battery is mounted low and behind the driver. The rear suspension is a swingarm setup with each swingarm cantilevered out and down into the bottom of the fairings. Dual rear motors, too, if I'm not mistaken. I'm scratching my head a little over the front suspension, though. It looks like a un-suspended upright, perhaps with a leading swingarm mounted to it? And although it has a fair amount of positive caster, it looks like the axle is raked far enough forward that the steering has negative trail. Really strange...

Finally, the team also posted a photo from when they were manufacturing the chassis utilizes a welded tube steel structure for the driver compartment, but also makes use of bolted-together rectangular aluminum tubing for the cantilevered suspensions mounts.

25: Nagoya Institute of Technology

Status: Unveiled! The car was shown testing at Bridgestone's test track on July 15th, and was formally unveiled on August 6th.

Last week, the team competed at Suzuka with their previous car, Horizon Z. They tied for 3rd in the Olympia Class, with 60 laps overall. After the race, the team unveiled their new car, Horizon 17. With the array on, we can see exactly how dramatic the "surfboard" shape on the top is. It's definitely more dramatic than Stanford's Sundae, and I think it's (proportionally) narrows further at the rear than Nuon's Nuna9.

(image source)
(image source)
(image source)

Looking sharp!

28: Neul-Hae-Rang

Status: Unveiled! The team unveiled Woong-bi on June 25th.

No news this week.

29: Siam Tech (Edison)

The car looks more complete every day, and the team is posting a LOT to Facebook. The team was test driving the chassis late last week (in the dead of night, as is tradition for a first drive). This week the lower shell has been installed.

32: Principia

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! There wasn't a formal unveiling event, but Principia took Ra X to Formula Sun in Texas, July 3-8. The team shipped the car to Australia on August 1st.

No news this week.

34: RVCE

Status: Unveiled! The team unveiled Arka right on schedule on August 5th.

(image source)

It's not a particularly noteworthy car, but it's a huge step up from where the team was two years ago.

37: Goko High School

Along with NIT, Goko competed at Suzuka this past weekend with their older car - the version of Musoushin that competed at WSC in 2015. I didn't manage to find a good image of it, but you can see it on the starting grid at 5:18:17.

38: North-West University

Status: Unveiling scheduled. Public unveiling of Naledi is scheduled for August 22nd.

No news this week.

43: Australia National University

The team posted a small video of a team member spinning around their CAD model. Notably, the driver is now placed on the right - the previous rendering had the driver on the left. Another change is that the gap between the rear right wheel fairing and pod for the front right wheel + driver appears to be much smaller than in the previously released renders. It's narrow enough that I'm really not sure what the point is anymore...

46: Jonkoping University

Status: Unveiling scheduled. The team has announced that Solveig will be unveiled on August 28th.

No news this week.

70: Sonnenwagen Aachen

Status: Unveiled! The team unveiled Huawei Sonnenwagen on July 20th.

Not much news this week - a pair of posts about donations from sponsors on their social media.

71: Istanbul Technical University

Status: Unveiled! The team unveiled B.O.W İSTKA on August 9th.

(image source)
(image source)

The team published a really nicely produced video on their YouTube, featuring some test driving at a race circuit.

(Oh man, is than an old X61 at 0:54? Great laptop; I never should have let mine go)

72: Proton

Proton is no longer listed on the official WSC teams list. Although disappointing, I'm not super surprised. Better luck next time.

77: Blue Sky

Status: Unveiling scheduled. The team announced on Facebook that their new car will be unveiled on August 14th.

No news this week.

82: Kookmin University

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! Kookmin unveiled Taegeuk on July 7th, and shipped their car to Australia at the end of July.

No news this week.

88: Kogakuin University

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! Kogakuin unveiled Wing on June 29th, and shipped the car to Adelaide on July 31st.

No news this week.

Cruiser Class

5: SunSPEC

Status: Unveiled! Singapore Polytechnic unveiled SunSPEC 5 on July 21st.

The team took SunSPEC 5 for it's very first test drive over the weekend.

9: PrISUm

Status: Unveiled! Iowa State unveiled Penumbra on June 2nd.

No news this week.

Status: Unveiled! Bochum unveiled Blue.Cruiser on July 5th.

Not much news. The team posted a few interior detail photos.

14: Flinders

23: University of Tehran

The team has continued their multi-week streak of frequent Instagram updates after months of silence. I really like this mashup of a drawing of the finished car overlaid on top of their real work-in-progress car - it's a neat concept for a photo that I'm not sure if I've seen before.

30: Team Arrow

No news this week.

33: Cairo University

No news this week.

35: IVE Sophie

Status: Unveiled! IVE unveiled Sophie VI on July 1st.

The team has posted two videos (12) of test driving the car. You can really get a sense of how long and low it is.

40: Eindhoven

Status: Unveiled! Eindhoven unveiled Stella Vie on June 21st.

According to their latest newsletter, the team is doing final testing and preparing to ship.


No news this week.

45: Lodz

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! Lodz unveiled Eagle Two on July 14th, and shipped to Australia on July 17th.

No news this week.

STC2 took Nikola for its first test drive this week!

(image source)
(image source)

I'm going to be honest: When I saw this post six weeks ago, I was pretty sure we wouldn't be seeing this team in Australia - but I've been incredibly impressed with how quickly this team has finished the car since then. It's not going to be competitive (lol aero), but does that matter? You don't build a car like this because you want to win; you build a car like this because you want to drive a life-sized hotwheels car. Awesome.

Now it just needs a solar array...

75: UNSW Sunswift

We don't expect an unveiling until September.

No news this week.

94: University of Minnesota

Status: Unveiled, and Shipped! Minnesota unveiled Eos II on July 11th, and shipped it out to Australia over the last weekend in July.

No news this week.

Status: Unveiled! KUAS unveiled Apollo VIII on June 29th.

No news this week.

Adventure Class

52: Illini Solar Car

Status: Shipped! The team shipped Argo out to Australia at the start of August.

In their blog post about shipping the car, the team noted that they got some help from the University of Minnesota team - it's always good to hear about teams helping each other out.

A team member also made a comment on reddit about why they're racing in the adventure class - apparently the car was designed for ASC 2016, but wasn't completed in time for that race.

Finally, the team has dumped a bunch of photos to their Flickr from construction, testing, and shipping. Overall, it looks like a very well engineered and constructed car for a rookie team.

53: Mississippi Choctaw High School

No news this week.


  1. Punch admit in the interview that they have super efficient solar cells, which "cost as much as an expensive Ferrari" and that they will only mount them just before the race.


  2. A great post, as always.

    I love the realism of Twente's race simulations, btw. For a past WSC cycle, they actually got a member of another team to let off a remote-controlled smoke bomb, representing an unexpected fire.

  3. And why the criticism of hotwheels? IIRC, this was my first hotwheels car, and the aero was reasonable.

  4. I'm guessing that STC are using the unlimited battery rules to enter an electric car with a few token solar cells. And why not, I'm surprised that the are the only team that are taking that opportunity.


  5. The latest video from STC2 Nikola shows flexible solar cells mounted pretty much everywhere they can go.

    1. That's what I said, a few token cells, I think that they are probably just print outs at the moment but assuming they are the correct size I can count around 200 cells. There will always be a fair number of them that are shaded as well. With their construction methods being perhaps not quite state of the art I would still assume that most of their energy will come from other sources.

      No criticism here though, I love it for what it is.

      By the way, rather than Hotwheels I think that this may have been their inspiration