Participants are university students. GM donates them cars and a set of goals. This time, they had to make their cars more fuel efficient without losing anything in performance.
They have four years to finish their projects. In the first years, participants are concentrated on planning and developing computer models. Then, they build their cars for the next 2-3 years, and they have to finish them by the end of the fourth year. Additionally, the cars have to be production-ready.
After that, their cars are judged based on their fuel economy, total range, tailpipe emissions, and marketing.
It is a very hard task, especially for university students. Aside from that, they have a lot of lectures, exams, and other tasks. Therefore, they give up nights and weekends to work on their cars.
This time, the participants received 2016 Chevy Camaros with automatics and a V6. Each of the universities chose their solution. The team from Virginia Tech stuck a 5.3 liter V8 under the hood of their Camaro. On the other hand, the Mississippi State team chose an 850cc snowmobile engine in their car, and most of the other teams used a 2.4-liter inline-four. Every team with exception of one used a plug-in system; the University of Tennessee implemented a parallel hybrid system.
It is an amazing opportunity for these students. They have succeeded in building cars that can be perceived as serious prototypes, rather than projects made by students. Therefore, there were some representatives from Tesla and Faraday Future looking for new talents. It is not strange since these students have 4-year hands-on experience in engineering hybrid cars. Mostly, they have more experience than those who usually apply for positions in the previously mentioned companies.