Sister-blog AB Green just posted this story about X-Prize. Remember X-Prize? They were the organization that put up a considerable sum of money to reward the first person to successfully go into outer space with their own spacecraft. After Burt Rutan won that first X-Prize with his SpaceShip 1, the foundation decided to get its head out of the clouds, so to speak. As a follow-up to the space program, you can probably guess what their new contest is all about, considering we're covering it on AB and AB Green. The new Automotive X-Prize is designed "to inspire the development of commercially viable, super efficient vehicles that move beyond the petroleum monoculture." Think green here.

X-Prize released their initial set of rules recently to see what everybody thinks about the plan. Basically it's a race for "production viable vehicles" that get the equivalent of at least 100 mpg and meet some strict emissions requirements. And they really want cars that can actually be produced. No science fiction one-offs here. Split into two classes, two races are planned for sometime in 2009 to evaluate the projects. The first class sounds like the more practical and familiar group, requiring seating for at least four passengers and being driven by at least four wheels. The second category should be the fun one. While they require it seat at least two people, there is no wheel requirement. X-Prize will unveil the first draft publicly at the New York Auto Show, but you can read the draft as a PDF by clicking here.

And we encourage you to click the read link to see AB Green's exclusive interview with Auto X-Prize's Mark Goodstein.

[Source: Automotive X-Prize via AutoblogGreen]