The Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE chose the state of Michigan to host an intense multi-stage competition that aimed to pit some of the world’s most fuel efficient vehicles against one another in a quest to win their share of a $10 million prize purse. Qualified teams arrived in Michigan for the start of on-track performance events in the Spring of 2010, thanks to a unique new partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan International Speedway (MIS).

The series of scored performance and evaluation events kicked off April 26, 2010 and continued through the end of August 2010. During this time, the Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE conducted several competition stages aimed at evaluating the efficiency, safety and performance of each competition vehicle under real world conditions. While in Michigan, the competition allowed the public and the automotive world an opportunity to witness the competition stages as they unfolded.

The competition stages were as follows:

Location: Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn, MI
The purpose of this first stage was to conduct safety inspections and on-track dynamic safety evaluations of competition vehicles. Teams submitted their cars to on-the-ground challenges for the purpose of shaking out problem areas and preparing their vehicles for the Knockout Qualifying Stage that follows, all without risk of elimination by the judges. Vehicles were tested on braking speed, lane change ability, acceleration and refueling/recharging time, among other elements.


Location: Michigan International Speedway
To narrow the field of competitors, Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE officials re-conducted inspections and certified readiness for knockout stage challenges. In order to pass this stage, teams demonstrated that their vehicles could achieve at least two-thirds of the stated 100 MPGe (miles per gallon or energy equivalent) goal while also meeting expectations for range, emissions, and real world performance. Achieving emissions thresholds proved a significant hurdle for teams in this stage as will the “hill climb” challenge.


Location: Michigan International Speedway
To identify the top finalists in each class, after a quick repeat of the static and dynamic safety checks, the remaining teams competed in scored on-track challenges, and closed with a “coast down” exercise to gain key performance information about the aerodynamics and rolling resistance to properly prepare the vehicles for the validation stage. Speed played a significant factor in this stage of the competition.


Location: Argonne National Labs (Chicago, IL)
In this final technical event, the top finalists in both the Mainstream and Alternative classes underwent dynamometer testing under controlled laboratory conditions at certified labs to verify technical performance results. The results of this testing, combined with the speed, efficiency and emissions results from the earlier events at Michigan International Speedway, determined the winners of the Progressive Insurance Automotive XPRIZE.

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