As the dust settles at the gymkhana ground at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, a group of students look on in pride towards a little, fast-moving vehicle.
The sturdy, single-seater car — the brainchild of a team of 60 students from different departments at the institute — will be competing against 80-odd cars from various institutes across India at a student automobile engineering competition next week.
The Rs 2.5-lakh car built since March 2011 is now being tweaked in the final few days before the team heads off to showcase it at the Baja Student Autombile Engineering Competition in Indore starting from February 17. This is the group’s third entry at the competition.
“This year we have designed a better break system, the car is lighter, it has better steering and is also better looking,” said Sonam Motwani, 21, a third year student from the aerospace engineering department involved in the project. “We are looking forward to coming first,” said Motwani, quietly confident.
The automobile has been built from scratch, except for the engine. Named NRB Prithvi 3 and shooting around at 60 kmph, the car weighs 220 kg, a weight reduction of 30% compared to the group’s previous car. The car runs on petrol and has a mileage of 10km per litre.
“It’s a very lightweight all-terrain vehicle, and we are confident about our car this year,” said Pratik Chinchole, 21, a metallurgy department student.
Students from different departments have worked on the car together, bringing their expertise from mechanical engineering to electrical engineering. The cost of the car was borne through donations from sponsors.
The same group is also looking ahead to its next challenge — building their first electrical Formula1 student car for a competition in the UK.