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Students to introduce EcoCAR competitor

STARKVILLE — On Oct. 7, the Mississippi State University’s (MSU’s) student automotive design team will unveil its entry for the international EcoCAR competition. The vehicle debuts at 10 a.m. at the university’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology & Economic Development Park. It is part of the NeXt Challenge involving plug-in hybrid, range-extending designs for sport utility vehicles.

The program will offer experiences in the team’s driving simulator, a student-designed device that includes a driver’s seat, steering column and dash panel of a Saturn VUE, the vehicle used in the competition of 17 universities from the United States and Canada. Additionally, video footage and photographs will be available of the MSU team and vehicle.

EcoCAR is the newest three-year collegiate competition sponsored by General Motors and the U.S. Department of Energy. MSU, the only Southeastern Conference university in the competition, placed first overall in a previous four-year competition known as ChallengeX.

In 2008, at the completion of the new competition’s first year, MSU ranked third overall; first in the mechanical systems presentation category and second in outstanding outreach. The team also received a special award for creative promotion.

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