Engineering students at Iowa State University will unveil their new solar car this afternoon which they’ll use to compete in this summer’s cross-country American Solar Challenge. I-S-U sophomore Sarah Shay, an Omaha, Nebraska, native, helped build the car, which she says is unlike all other traditional vehicles.The car, dubbed Spectrum, is I-S-U’s seventh solar car over the years. It’s design is considered a “modified airfoil” and it’s painted gold. Though the driver lays at a 45-degree angle and has to steer upside-down using a tiny steering wheel in the three-foot-high vehicle, Shay says it’s an okay ride. She says the car is fairly comfortable just to lay in but when driving down the road, there’s a lot of wind noise and it’s pretty bumpy. The car is coated with 25-hundred solar cells which collect sunlight and power batteries which run the motor. Shay says it’s been a fun challenge building the car. The unveiling of the Spectrum is scheduled for 2:45 this (Friday) afternoon in the atrium of Howe Hall. The American Solar Challenge runs from Chicago to Los Angeles July 13-23.
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