The infographic above (click to zoom) shows the reported length and width of eight World Solar Challenge cars. The widest car (at 1.8 m) is that of the Swedish MDH Solar Team (although this car has large bites taken out of each side). The two family Cruisers from Eindhoven and Lodz (dashed lines) are also quite wide, and take full advantage of the maximum allowed length of 5 m.
The Belgian Punch Powertrain Solar Team has produced a very short zippy Challenger class car (illustrated), and Nuon’s car (not shown) seems of a similar size. In contrast, Michigan has a long narrow bullet car, powered by GaAs solar cells. Twente, using Si cells, has a substantially longer car than Punch, but a narrower one. It will be very interesting to see how these differences play out in the race, come October.
The JU Solar Team, from Jönköping University (Sweden) ran into trouble in the 2013 World Solar Challenge, but they are back again in a new vehicle, and will hopefully do much better. Their new car weighs about 170 kg and has, they say, just 20% of the drag of a BMW 3 Series sedan. Good luck, team 46!
For up-to-date lists of all World Solar Challenge 2015 teams, see: