2019 World Solar Challenge teams list


Nine fantastic WSC cars from Delft: 2001–2017 (photos: Vattenfall Solar Team)

Here is a further update on the 47 teams (29 Challengers, 18 Cruisers, and no Adventure cars) from 23 countries aiming for the 2019 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia this coming October. Below is my best understanding of the current team status, updated to match the official list of teams (sadly, Appalachian State University have dropped out, as have Golden State). Teams are sorted in team number order.

There is an ASC-style documentation progress chart this year. We have seen car reveals from Chalmers, Eclipse (pic), HUST (pic), Top Dutch (video), Twente (video), Blue Sky (video), Kogakuin (video), MDH (pic), CalSol, Agoria (video), Eindhoven (video), HK IVE (pic), NITech (pic), SER (pic), Vattenfall (video), Michigan (video), Minnesota (video), Solaris (pic), Stanford (pic), Aachen (video), Singapore (pic), Onda (video), WSU (pic), STC (video), Durham (pic), KUST, and Cambridge (pic).

Promised new car reveals include EcoPhoton23 August and JU30 August. There has been no word on a reveal from 8 teams (Antakari, Tokai, ANU, Mines Rabat, Beijing, Dyuti, Estidamah, and ATN). Apart from Tokai, they are all probably in some degree of trouble.

US    University of Michigan 

Monohull GaAs challenger (new car: Electrum) – their car name is the name of a gold/silver alloy famous in antiquity. They revealed their car on 19 July (video).

Previously, Michigan came 9th at WSC 13; came 4th at WSC 15; came 2nd at WSC 17; won ASC 14; won ASC 16; came 2nd at ASC 18; and won Abu Dhabi 15. Their team number (2) is a long-standing tradition.

NL    Vattenfall Solar Team (Delft) 

Asymmetric GaAs challenger (new car: Nuna X) – these are the champions formerly known as Nuon. See their 2017 aftermovie. The new car weighs just 135 kg (298 lbs) and has a unique asymmetrical rear (designed to take advantage of October winds coming primarily from the east). They revealed their car on 16 July (video).

Previously, Vattenfall won WSC 13; won WSC 15; won WSC 17; won SASOL 14; won SASOL 16; and won SASOL 18. Their team number (3) is a long-standing tradition.

CL  Hmmm  Antakari Solar Team 

Challenger (new car: Intikallpa V) – no news on the new design as yet. There has been no word on a car reveal.

Previously, Antakari participated in the WSC 13 Adventure class and came 10th at WSC 17.

Antakari BWSC 2013 aftermovie (they participated in the Adventure class)

SG    Singapore Polytechnic 

Two-seat cruiser (SunSPEC 6) – their 2019 car is a modified version of their 2017 car SunSPEC 5. They revealed their car on 30 July (pic).

Previously, Singapore came 16th at WSC 13; participated in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; and participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class.

NL    Top Dutch Solar Racing 

Monohull single junction GaAs challenger (new team with car: Green Lightning) – their car is a bullet car resembling Michigan’s 2017 Novum. It looks so good that at this stage I’m calling them “best new team.” Their car has four-wheel steering at low speed and two-wheel steering at high speed. There are Dutch media reports about their plans, and they are vlogging weekly (in Dutch, but they have started adding English subtitles). They revealed their car on 12 June (video).

AU    Adelaide University 

Asymmetric challenger (Lumen II Mk II) – they have been doing a lot of testing.

Previously, Adelaide came 21st at WSC 15 and participated at WSC 17.

BE    Agoria Solar Team (KU Leuven) 

Asymmetric GaAs challenger (new car: BluePoint) – they are now sponsored by Agoria. They held a mock race with the old car. Their new car looks very similar. They revealed their car on 3 July (video).

Previously, Agoria came 6th at WSC 13; came 5th at WSC 15; came 3rd at WSC 17; came 3rd at Abu Dhabi 15; came 2nd at iESC 16; and came 6th at iESC 18. Their team number (8) is a long-standing tradition.

IT    Onda Solare 

Four-seat cruiser (Emilia 4 LT) – they won the American Solar Challenge (Cruiser class) last year, and they have written up their design process here, but they have since made substantial improvements to the vehicle, including to the aerodynamics, suspension, battery, and solar panels. There is also an unusual open tail. They revealed their car on 31 July (video).

Previously, Onda came 10th at WSC 13; won the ASC 18 Cruiser class; came 10th at Abu Dhabi 15; and came 6th at iESC 16. Their team number (9) is taken from the SS 9, the highway through Bologna, which was once the Roman Via Aemilia (hence also the name of their vehicle).

10  JP  Looks on track  Tokai University 

Challenger (new car: Tokai Challenger) – in January they hosted some visitors from Lodz. There has been no word on a car reveal.

Previously, Tokai came 2nd at WSC 13; came 3rd at WSC 15; came 4th at WSC 17; came 7th at Abu Dhabi 15; came 2nd at SASOL 16; and came 2nd at SASOL 18.

11  DE    Bochum University of Applied Sciences 

Two-seat cruiser (thyssenkrupp SunRiser) – Bochum is not building a new WSC car, but are improving their sexy 2-seater SunRiser, which came 3rd in 2015. They also have a solar buggy team.

Previously, Bochum came 2nd in the WSC 13 Cruiser class; came 3rd in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; came 2nd in the WSC 17 Cruiser class; came 3rd, 4th, and 5th at iESC 16; came 2nd, 3rd, and 5th in the iESC 18 Cruiser class; came 1st and 7th at Albi Eco 18; and came 1st and 2nd at Albi Eco 19.


photo: Anthony Dekker

12  GB    Cambridge University 

Four-seat cruiser (new car: Helia) – they have had motor problems. They revealed their car on 15 August (pic).

Previously, Cambridge came 22nd at WSC 15 and came 10th at iESC 16.


photo: Nigel

14  AU    Flinders University 

Three-seat cruiser (Investigator Mk 3) – they are planning to improve aerodynamics, reduce weight, and make some other changes.

Previously, Flinders participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class.

15  AU    Western Sydney Solar Team 

Monohull GaAs challenger (new car: Unlimited 3.0) – they won the American Solar Challenge last year (with their car Unlimited 2.0), but have built a hot new “bullet car” this year. They revealed their car on 7 August (pic).

Previously, WSU came 11th at WSC 13; came 10th at WSC 15; came 6th at WSC 17; and won ASC 18.


photo: Anthony Dekker

16  US    Stanford Solar Car Project 

Monohull challenger (new car: Black Mamba) – they first showed us their shell, which is a unique asymmetric bullet car. They revealed their car on 21 July (pic).

Previously, Stanford came 4th at WSC 13; came 6th at WSC 15; and came 9th at WSC 17.

18  MY  Hmmm  EcoPhoton (UiTM) 

Challenger (new car: Tigris) – see their first and second vlogs (in Bahasa Malaysia). They will reveal their car on 23 August.

Previously, EcoPhoton came 26th at WSC 15 and participated at WSC 17.

20  GB    Durham University 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: Ortus) – they report 24% lower drag and 28% lower weight than their previous car. They revealed their car on 12 August (pic).

Previously, Durham came 27th at WSC 15 and participated at WSC 17.

21  NL    Solar Team Twente 

Asymmetric GaAs challenger (new car: RED E) – they are already producing regular vlogs (in Dutch), and have also produced an (English) day-in-the-life blog post. Their design is an incredibly tiny GaAs catamaran with shingled solar cells. They developed a MOOC explaining the design of their 2015 car, and there is an online game of their new car. They revealed their car on 21 June (video).

Previously, Twente came 3rd at WSC 13; came 2nd at WSC 15; came 5th at WSC 17; won iESC 16; and came 1st and 2nd at iESC 18. Their team number (21) is a pun and a wish for success in the race (“Twente-One”).

22  SE    MDH Solar Team 

Classic symmetric challenger (Viking) – this year’s car is an improved version of their 2017 car, with better aerodynamics and electronics. In particular, the two “bites” on the side have been filled in. They revealed their car on 29 June (pic).

Previously, MDH participated at WSC 17.

23  SE    Halmstad University Solar Team 

Outrigger challenger (new team with car: Heart Three) – their render showed a bullet car, much like Michigan’s 2017 entry, although the chassis suggests outriggers of some kind (with the associated drag issues). They revealed their car on 11 June (pic), but without any really good pictures of the completed vehicle.

25  HK    Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education 

Two-seat cruiser (Sophie 6s) – their car is a modification of Sophie 6 from 2017. They revealed their car on 6 July (pic).

Previously, HK IVE participated in the WSC 13 Adventure class; participated in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; and participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class.

30  AU    Team Arrow 

Two-seat cruiser (ArrowSTF) – they made a six-month-out update video.

Previously, Arrow came 7th at WSC 13; came 8th at WSC 15; came 3rd in the WSC 17 Cruiser class; came 5th at Abu Dhabi 15; and came 8th at iESC 18. Their team number (30) is the average age of people on the original team.

31  CH    Solar Energy Racers 

Asymmetric challenger (SER-3) – they raced this car in South Africa, but have made some improvements. They revealed the car on 10 July, prior to sending it to Australia by sea.

Previously, SER came 5th at WSC 13; came 2nd at ASC 16; came 11th at Abu Dhabi 15; came 3rd at SASOL 18; and came 8th at iESC 16.

35  US    University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project 

Two-seat cruiser (Eos II) – they are building a new car, but will race an upgraded version of their existing one for BWSC 19 (revealing the upgrade on 19 July).

Previously, Minnesota came 4th in the WSC 13 Cruiser class; came 5th in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class; came 2nd at ASC 14; came equal 10th at ASC 16; and came equal 2nd in the ASC 18 Cruiser class. Their team number (35) is derived from the Interstate 35 highway.

37  JP    Goko High School

Asymmetric challenger (Musoushin) – this high-school team always does very well.

Previously, Goko came 5th in the WSC 13 Cruiser class; came 14th at WSC 15; and participated at WSC 17.

40  NL    Solar Team Eindhoven 

Four-seat cruiser (new car: Stella Era) – their new car has many cool features and a range of 1200 km. They revealed their car on 4 July (video).

Previously, Eindhoven won the WSC 13 Cruiser class; won the WSC 15 Cruiser class; won the WSC 17 Cruiser class; and came 7th in the iESC 18 Cruiser class. Their team number (40) is the Eindhoven telephone area code.

41  AU    Australian National University 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: MTAA Super Charge 2) – they have a shell, produced by Sydney Composites. There has been no word on a car reveal.

Previously, ANU participated at WSC 17.

42  AU    TAFE SA 

Two-seat cruiser (SAV) – this time they will tow the trailer that belongs with the car.

Previously, TAFE SA came 7th in the WSC 13 Cruiser class; participated in the WSC 15 Adventure class; and participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class.

43  GB    Ardingly College 

Two-seat cruiser (Ardingly Solar Car) – this high-school team came 6th in the iESC Cruiser class, but have upgraded the car since then.

Previously, Ardingly participated in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; came 6th in the iESC 18 Cruiser class; and participated at Albi Eco 19.

45  PL    Lodz Solar Team 

Four-seat 60-kWh cruiser (Eagle Two) – they have upgraded and repainted their car, and improved the interior.

Previously, Lodz participated in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class; came 5th at SASOL 16; and won the iESC 18 Cruiser class. Their team number (45) is a tradition since 2015.

46  SE    JU Solar Team 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: Axelent) – they have a rolling test chassis, a body, and a battery. The body design seems long and thin. They will reveal their car on 30 August.

Previously, JU came 20th at WSC 13; came 15th at WSC 15; and came 8th at WSC 17. Their team number (46) is the Swedish national telephone prefix.

47  JP    Nagoya Institute of Technology 

Monohull challenger (new car: Horizon Ace) – their car resembles Tokyo’s 2017 vehicle. They revealed their car on 6 July (pic).

Previously, NITech came 16th at WSC 15 and came 12th at WSC 17.

49  TH    Siam Technical College 

Two-seat cruiser (new car: STC-3) – they have a unique passenger-behind-driver Cruiser design. They revealed their car on 8 August (video).

Previously, STC came 28th at WSC 15 and participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class.

51  SE    Chalmers Solar Team 

Outrigger challenger (new team with car: Alfrödull) – their final render resembles the car of the South African NWU team. They have a rolling chassis, which they revealed in May. Their shipping date was in July. See their promo video here.

55  MA  Hmmm  Mines Rabat Solar Team 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: Eleadora 2) – they have a shell, but the shipping date must be approaching fast.

63  SA    Alfaisal Solar Car Team 

Classic symmetric challenger (new car: Areej 1) – they had hoped to race at ASC 2018, but did not make it. They showed their rolling chassis but did not formally reveal the completed car. The car name is a pun: AREG/Areej is an acronym for Alfaisal Renewable Energy Group but also means “the scent of a flowery garden” in Arabic. Amjad Alamri appears to be one of the drivers.

66  US    Berkeley (CalSol) 

Four-seat 16-kWh cruiser (new car: Tachyon) – they revealed their new car at FSGP. Their average speed at FSGP was 46.3 km/h, compared to 52.8 km/h for Esteban (the leading single-occupant vehicle). This raises some doubts as to whether they can make the WSC on-road target speed of around 75 km/h.

Previously, CalSol came 15th at FSGP 14; came 7th at FSGP 15; came 9th at ASC 16; won FSGP 17; came 6th at ASC 18; and came 2nd in the FSGP 19 Cruiser class.

70  DE    Sonnenwagen Aachen 

Monohull GaAs challenger (new car: Covestro Sonnenwagen) – they have a car-racing game app starring their car. They revealed their car on 22 July (video).

Previously, Aachen participated at WSC 17 and came 3rd at iESC 18. Their team number (70) is the number they raced with in 2017.

75  AU    University of New South Wales (Sunswift) 

Four-seat 20-kWh cruiser (Violet) – they have been testing their car on the track.

Previously, Sunswift came 3rd in the WSC 13 Cruiser class; came 4th in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; and participated in the WSC 17 Cruiser class.

77  CA    University of Toronto (Blue Sky) 

Monohull challenger (new car: Viridian) – they have a great-looking bullet car this year. They revealed their car on 24 June (video).

Previously, Blue Sky came 8th at WSC 13; came 12th at WSC 15; came 11th at WSC 17; and came 3rd at ASC 16.

80  CN  Hmmm  Beijing Institute of Technology

Four-seat cruiser (new car: Sun Shuttle III). There has been no word on a car reveal.

Previously, Beijing came 19th at WSC 13 and came 24th at WSC 15.

82  KR    Kookmin University Solar Team 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: Man-Se) – they “revealed” their car in a private ceremony on 14 August. Pictures are in circulation on Facebook, but not publicly.

Previously, KUST came 15th at WSC 13; came 20th at WSC 15; and participated at WSC 17. Their team number (82) is the Korean national telephone prefix.

84  TR    Dokuz Eylül University (Solaris) 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: S10) – they expect the new car to be 44% more efficient than the 2015 model. They revealed their car on 19 July (pic).

Previously, Solaris participated in the WSC 13 Adventure class; came 25th at WSC 15; came 9th at iESC 16; and came 2nd at Albi Eco 18.

86  IN  Looks like they might not make WSC  Sphuran Industries Private Limited (Dyuti)

Four-seat cruiser (new team with car: WattSun) – I am not sure how much progress, if any, the company has made on a car (this small company was only registered in May, and appears to occupy co-working space above a shopping mall). There has been no word on a car reveal.

88  JP    Kogakuin University 

Monohull GaAs challenger (new car: Eagle) – once again they have a sleek and elegantly unique design. There is a good discussion with interior pics here. They revealed their car on 27 June (video).

Previously, Kogakuin came 14th at WSC 13; came 2nd in the WSC 15 Cruiser class; and came 7th at WSC 17. Their team number (88) is multi-faceted (88 is a lucky number in Japanese kanji; 4 wheels looks like 88; and the team garage is in Hachioji city, with ‘hachi’ meaning ‘eight’).

89  SA  Hmmm  Estidamah 

Asymmetric challenger (new car: Sana) – this was formerly the Seraaj team. There has been no word on a car reveal.

92  CA    ETS Quebec (Eclipse) 

Asymmetric challenger (Éclipse X.I) – they came an excellent 3rd in the ASC, 102 minutes behind Western Sydney, and hope to go even faster with the new battery pack in their modified car. Their improvements are summarised in their winter newsletter. They revealed their car on 10 June (pic).

Previously, Eclipse came 18th at WSC 13; came 10th at ASC 14; came 8th at ASC 16; came 4th at FSGP 17; and came 3rd at ASC 18.

98  AU    ATN Solar Car Team 

Two-seat cruiser (new team) – their team is a mixture of lecturers and students from five universities across Australia. They have tested a model in a wind tunnel. There has been no word on a car reveal.

This page last updated 19:50 on 19 August 2019 AEST. Thanks to Nigel for several news items.


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ASC 38: Road Race Day 8


Start, drive, cross the line, recharge (picture credits: 1, 2, 3, 4)

Day 8 of the American Solar Challenge was another sunny day. The road to Burns included several steep hills, climbing out of the Snake River Plain, and teams that did not negotiate them yesterday had to do so today. Appalachian State were the first Cruiser to arrive in Burns. Onda Solare are the only untrailered Cruiser, however (and still with 4 people and no external recharging). The chart below summarises the race so far (penalty minutes are added at the right of the chart).

I am awarding my “Cruiser Pioneer” gem to the University of Minnesota Solar Vehicle Project, who are America’s Cruiser (MOV) class pioneers. They were the only Cruiser at ASC 2016. They came 4th in the WSC 2013 Cruiser class, and 5th in the WSC 2015 Cruiser class. They won the FSGP MOV class this year by a convincing margin, and were clear leaders for the ASC road race until they ran into trouble 40 miles into stage 4 (with an electrical fault). Thank you, UMNSVP, for showing everybody else the way!


ASC 34: The Big Climb


The mountains, Day 5 (picture credits: 1, 2)

Well, we had the “Big Climb” in the American Solar Challenge. The mountains were beautiful, but timewise it was an anticlimax. Michigan and ETS / Eclipse slowed down a little, but some other cars actually sped up! The battles for 1st and 3rd are still quite close, as the chart for Farson shows (click to zoom). The Cruisers seem to be trying to pick up the pace a little.

On an unrelated matter, although the American Solar Challenge is far from over, I’m getting a head start on my personal Gem Awards for the race. The “Solar Car Family Gem” goes to Team 55 (Poly Montreal / Esteban) for the multiple mentions in social media of their helpfulness.

Oh, and the tracker seems to be working again. Here (unchecked and unedited) are night-time positions:


ASC 32: Road Race Day 4 (part 1)

Today the solar cars in the American Solar Challenge travelled to Lander, Wyoming (Michigan and Western Sydney clocked in yesterday already). As the map above shows, Lander is 48% of the way through the race (by distance) or 44% (by days). This is a good opportunity to see how the teams are going.


Tuesday morning, Day 4 (picture credits: 1, 2 3 4)

For the Cruiser (MOV) class, the “cactus” diagram below tells the story for Stage 1 (first two days). For each car, the first coloured bar shows the number of person-kilometres (distance driven times the average number of people in the car). All cars ran full. The second coloured bar shows the external energy input, which is the number of charges (including the pre-race charge) multiplied by the battery capacity. This bar points downward, because large values are bad. The third coloured bar, which is the final score, is the first bar divided by the second (all bars are scaled so that the highest value is 100%). Congratulations again, Minnesota!

For the race as a whole, Cruiser (MOV) scoring also includes speed and practicality components.


ASC 29: Road Race Day 2 Wrap


picture credits: 1, 2

This post has been updated TWICE.

Sunday 15 July (Nebraska time) in the American Solar Challenge road race saw clouds and rain, and several cars were forced to trailer. In the Challenger (SOV) class, Western Sydney crossed the finish line just before Michigan (above). Below (in the colours of an Oregon Trail campfire) are the speeds for Stage 1, based on official timings. Western Sydney were declared winners of this first stage. The two cars from Montreal are also neck-and-neck, with Eclipse (101) just ahead of Esteban (55) after penalties.

In the Cruiser (MOV) class, Minnesota and Onda Solare are the two cars left standing. Both of these cars are running about 2 hours behind the 53.5 km/h required speed, and so both are attracting slowness penalties (as per revised regulation 13.3.A). Both cars seem to have run fully loaded (2 people for Minnesota, 4 for Onda), so scoring for the Cruisers reflects battery size and the number of recharges they have done from the grid (currently zero for both, apparently). However, on a pure seats-to-kWh ratio, Minnesota (2 / 6.75) outperforms Onda (4 / 16.8), and this is why Minnesota were declared Cruiser winners of this first stage.


picture credits: 1, 2

Seven days of racing to go! … With only 12 cars, unfortunately, since Western Michigan and SIUE were unable to meet their provisional qualification requirements. However, Illini, Georgia Tech, Waterloo, and AppState are still in the race, though trailered, with partial distance credit.


ASC 24: Track Race Wrap


CalSol, Waterloo, MIT, and SIUE on the track (picture credit)

Well, the Formula Sun Grand Prix or FSGP (the 3-day track race component of ASC) is over. I have updated my race information page and teams list with news and some pictures. To summarise the event, the chart below (in the colours of a Nebraska sunset) shows the total laps (after penalties) for each car (as with all images on this page, click to zoom). Teams which qualified for the road race are marked (with “P” indicating provisional qualification). The Russian team (89) had a rather slow car (not to mention that the motor eventually died), but they also received a large penalty (possibly for battery replacement?).

Some teams treated FSGP purely as a qualifier, while others went out hard to win it. Congratulations to Poly Montreal / Esteban (55) for being the winner, to Berkeley / CalSol (6) for coming second, and to Western Sydney University (15) for coming third! These will all be strong contenders in the road race (along with Michigan, who seem to have taken things fairly easy on the track). For the Cruiser (MOV) class, things are a little more complex, and are discussed later in this post.


FSGP 1st, 2nd, and 3rd (picture credit)

This chart shows the fastest lap speeds for each team. Western Sydney University (15) ran the fastest lap, at 80.5 km/h (50.0 mph):

And here is a revised (and, I think, final) teams poster, with the teams qualified for the road race marked in green:

For the Cruiser (MOV) class, the “cactus” diagram below tells the story. For each car, the first coloured bar shows the number of person-kilometres (basically the number of laps times the average number of people in the car). Cars mostly ran full (although PrISUm ran with only 2 people). Onda Solare (559) had less than 4 people in the car for a few laps (they also had technical problems, which is why they scored no laps on Day 3). As the first chart showed, Minnesota clocked up almost as many laps as the top 3 Challengers, which is why it has the tallest bar here.

For each car, the second coloured bar shows the external energy input, which is the number of charges (including the pre-race charge) multiplied by the battery capacity. This bar points downward, because large values are bad. And in the brilliant sunshine of Hastings, the Minnesota car refused recharge opportunities, drinking in the sun like the Challenger (SOV) cars. The third coloured bar, which is the final score, is the first bar divided by the second (all bars are scaled so that the highest value is 100%). The high lap count and low external energy input put Minnesota way ahead in the final scoring. Ultimately, this was due to the beautiful and efficient aerodynamics of their car. Third place was decided on AppState’s battery (11.025 kWh, compared to 15.876 for Waterloo).


Minnesota drinking in the sun (picture credit)

The road race for the Cruiser (MOV) class will be interesting. We will, I think, see more strategic refusal to recharge from the grid (which we have not seen at WSC), and we might see Minnesota, with its small (6.75 kWh) battery, struggle a little in the mountains. Anything can still happen!

Meanwhile, one more picture to say farewell to Hastings, Nebraska:


Illini, Western Michigan, and Esteban on the track (picture credit)


ASC 22: Crush Appendages

In 2016, when Michigan entered their WSC 2015 car in ASC 2016, they were forced to invent the “crush appendage” (above) to satisfy ASC crush zone requirements. At the time, I merely thought “that’s interesting.” Fast forward to 2018, however, and crush appendages are everywhere!

On Facebook, I promised people an “ugliest appendage” award. An honourable mention goes to Onda Solare (team 559), for having one on every door, but the winner has to be Minnesota. Those appendages really ruin the aesthetics of a beautiful Cruiser!