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100 mpg car will compete in first judged events in June

The Cornell 100 MPG+ Team has been chosen to compete against eight other teams' fuel-efficient vehicles in first-round action of the Progressive Automotive X Prize competition, contest officials have announced.

Cornell has been invited to the Knockout Qualifying Stage -- the competition's first series of judged events -- to be held June 20-30 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich.

The team's finished car, a plug-in hybrid four-seater named Redshift, made its debut at the competition's first set of public events during the first week of May in Brooklyn. The "shakedown" stage was a dry run, consisting of non-judged events after which teams were allowed to make technical modifications.

The knockout stage will require vehicles to pass technical inspections and on-track safety tests. Vehicles must complete emissions, efficiency and range events in which they must achieve as least two-thirds the minimum fuel economy and range requirements to qualify for the Finals Stage, to be held July 19-30. Teams that fail to meet the qualifications will be eliminated from competition.

In all, 22 teams representing 27 vehicles will compete in June for a share of the $10 million prize. Cornell will be judged in the Mainstream vehicle class, which must carry four or more passengers, have four or more wheels and offer a 200-mile range.

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Blaine Friedlander