• Mar 7, 2011
UPENN Renegade – Click above to watch video after the jump

A lot of Universities around the world have solar racing teams that build cool UFO-looking vehicles that compete with each other for speed and efficiency records. The University of Pennsylvania is not one of them. They used to be, though. A few years back, the students involved with the racing club took a hard right turn and haven't looked back. The interdisciplinary group of 40 are now simply as Penn Electric Racing and their first non-solar project known as Renagade is nearing completion and is awesome for so many reasons.

Renegade was built to run hard for a quarter mile at a time and, as you can see from the above photo, it is unlike any dragster you've ever seen, electric or otherwise. Apparently, and this is just our guess, the original builders were so busy concentrating on how to create space to accommodate a raft of lead-acid batteries they may have not paid a lot of attention to the overall form and left that to the students who would come into the program after them.

Left with an unlikely shape to cover up, the current crop of kids constructed a carbon fiber coat in a custom configuration that looks like, well, what you see above. The team will debut its creation in mid-April before going on to put it through its high-speed paces on the 30th of that month at the NEDRA-sanctioned Capitol Amps event at Capitol Raceway in Odenton, MD.

Whatever laurels they manage to earn at that track visit won't be rested upon. There are plans to convert Renegade to lithium thanks to a generous donation from Tesla Motors. The California company has already forwarded the group over 500 cells that will be incorporated into a scooter project. Hit the jump for video from Penn Electric Racing detailing their electro-automotive efforts.

[Source: Penn Electric Racing]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Anyone else see Citroen 2CV in the design?

      Kudos to Tesla for reaching out to students.
      • 3 Years Ago
      That thing is going to be a monster with twin Warp 11's. Good Luck guys and be safe, that is an absolute ton of power your going to be dumping down the drag strip.
      • 3 Years Ago
      If they really want to learn about electric drag racing, then they need to go see white zombie at plasma boy's shop! I'm sure that they could avoid a lot of missteps by listening to the voice of experience!

      Also, please start working on other racing sports. The more we can show EVs capabilities, not just the problems like others wish to emphasize, the better.
      • 3 Years Ago
      odd design but they are young and it's a school project.
      would be nice though if they would appreciate aerodynamics and have a sense of interior volumes and proportions in the design.
        • 3 Years Ago
        It's a race car, Dan.

        It's for drag racing where aerodynamics play a minor role and "interior volumes and proportions" are completely irrelevant... just like your opinion.