Meet the Daedalus — the University of Minnesota’s new Cruiser-class solar racing car. The new — and rather interesting-looking — vehicle is going to be the university’s entry into the 2013 World Solar Challenge in October. These photos represent the vehicle’s unveiling before the 3,000-kilometer (1,864-mile) race across the Australian Outback.
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The two-seater seems to be a bit of a cross-breed, somewhere between the purely-built-for-speed Challenger class cars and ‘full’ Cruiser class cars like Eindhoven’s Stella and Bochum’s SunCruiser. The large canopy seats the driver and a passenger side-by-side who, judging by the photos, will be rubbing shoulders a bit.
According to the team’s website, Daedalus is powered by 1300Wp of solar cells, which charge a 16.2kWh li-ion battery and/or feed two custom-built electric motors. The four wheels are enclosed in two large fairings on each side of the body, which each feature a NACA duct – presumably for cooling either the motors and/or power electronics that might be located in the fairings.
The 2013 World Solar Challenge is a race exclusively for solar-powered vehicles that begins in Darwin, Australia and ends in Adelaide. This year, the race runs from October 6–13, 2013.
Other 2013 World Solar Challenge entries we’ve featured so far are the Resolution solar car from Cambridge University, the family-sized solar car Stella from Eindhoven University of Technology, and Stanford’s Luminos solar racer.