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What is Formula SAE?


SAE is a group of students collaborating together in order to conceive a racing car. The main goal of this project is to win the biggest universitary engineering international contest.

Organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) this project aims the construction of a racing protype vehicule which could be produced in serie and sold to the public at low price.

The idea behind the competition is to make a racing vehicule regarding the pre-established standards which would later be evaluated with different criteria. They would help to determine wheter it could be commercialised or not.

More than thirty students from different universitary programs such as engeenering, business and communication will gather all over the year to increase the visibility and to interest people in the project.

Historical Background

Created in 1981 by the Society of Automotive Engineers, SAE is now the biggest competition of engineering students in the whole world.

The first SAE competition took place at Texas University. During this competition, six teams were registered for a total of forty students. In 2013, the competition registered 120 different teams and they were about 1995 students: it is more than 500 teams who take part in the different international competitions.

SAE continues its development with new projects. Since a year, a new competition was created in order to test electric cars. In 2013, there were more than 20 cars at Formula SEA Electric and nine of them faced each other on the track. Moreover, it is a competition that is likely to grow in the following years.

1992 car

Competitions and Events

The various events measure the performances of the race car and the car driver. They also evaluate the quality of the engineering work and the process of design.

Scores of Formula SAE events, on 1000 points

Endurance – 275 points

This evaluation is the most important one of the competition because of its high number of points. The racing car will have to demonstrate its durability during a 22 km run. There is a change of car drivers halfway.

Efficiency – 100 points

After performing the test of endurance , the car will be evaluated according to the amount of energy consumed thanks to an energy meter.

Autocross – 125 points

During this evaluation, the car driver will have to make a race of near a kilometer on an open circuit with curves and straight lines. This evaluation will be used to determine the order in which the team will pass the endurance test.

Skid-Pad – 75 points

This specific test evaluates the side acceleration of the car. It will be tested on a circuit in form of an 8. The car will have to accomplish two consecutive turns on each circle. The second one will be timed and evaluated.

Acceleration – 100 points

During this test, the car must run a distance of 75 meters as fast as possible.

Engineering Design – 150 points

The team must submit a report of 8 pages on the design of the car. The must convince the judges about the effectiveness and the performance of the car. The students will have to answer some question thereafter in the presence of the judges.

Cost Analysis – 100 points

The team must provide a cost report, which includes the various costs and incomes of the design and the manufacturing of the car.

Marketing Presentation – 75 points

Another important event is the marketing presentation in which the members of the team will have to create a professional business plan which will be presented to potentials investors. They will have to put forward different facts proving that the car is marketable and answers real customer request.


Michigan state competition is the most important student engineering competition in the world. It gathers more than 120 students and it lasts within 4 and 5 days. During this period of time, the car is evaluated according to the results it obtains through the eight tests.

Formula Student

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