IIT-B's Prithvi to race against 80 vehicles

Feb 08, 2012, 08:16 IST | Nivedita Dargalkar

Prithvi 3.0, a lightweight off-road vehicle designed by 40 IIT-B students will feature at the Baja SAE series of competitions to be held in Indore

Prithvi 3.0, a lightweight off-road vehicle designed by 40 IIT-B students will feature at the Baja SAE series of competitions to be held in Indore

The innovative Prithvi 3.0, a car engineered by IIT-Bombay students over eight months, has been selected to be featured at the US-originated Baja SAE competition, which will be held at Pithampura in Indore from February 17 to 19. The lightweight engineering marvel assembled by 40 students of second, third and final years at the institute is amongst 80-odd cars from all over India that have been selected after intensive screening by the jury members for the competition.

Testing the metal: Prithvi, built from aluminium alloys and fibre-
reinforced polymers to lighten its weight, will be put to test on rocky
terrain at the racing contest, among other Baja SAE competitions, at

Besides boasting to offer the capability to speed up to 60 km/h, the car has been designed to run on various road conditions and obstacles that a person might encounter on Indian roads.

"Aluminium alloys and fibre-reinforced polymers have been used to build Prithvi in order to lighten its weight, thus giving Prithvi a good tenacity and the capability to climb over even a heap of rocks safely," said Pratik Chinchole, one of the team members involved in assembling the car. 

The students took six months to assemble the car and two months to test-drive it. At the competition, the car will be tested for different parameters like design, engineering, racing, planning, manufacturing and marketing.

Racing to win 
"We are really happy about our car being selected for the competition. Students from different fields like electronics, chemical and mechanical, who are interested in automobiles and motor sports, accomplished the task of assembling this car. We are especially excited about the racing event that will be held as part of the competition and hope that our car will feature amongst the toppers there. We are confident that our creation will stand apart from all the other cars," added Chinchole.

Baja SAE
The Baja SAE Series is an event for the undergraduate engineering students, organised globally by the Society of Automotive Engineers, USA. The event originated in 1976 at the University of Carolina, US. Since then, it has been held across Mexico, South Africa, Korea, Brazil and India. It tasks the students to design, fabricate and validate a single-seater four-wheeled off-road vehicle to weather the test of rough terrain in a series of events spread over three days. The events test the vehicle for sound engineering practices: agility in terms of gradability, speed, acceleration and maneuverability characteristics and finally its ability to endure that backbreaking durability test.

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