Formula SAE is a student design competition organized by SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) International in which a co-curricular group of students design a formula-style race car, raise their funds, build, and develop the car for a variety of dynamic events. Through this annual competition, each student team will create their prototype based on a series of rules. These rules are imposed with the purpose of both ensuring on-track safety and promoting the development of their skills as engineers; applying their knowledge from the classroom into a hands-on project. Every year in Detroit, over 120 teams from all over the world attend the competition to get a chance to display their engineering and design knowledge, ingenuity, and creativity. The competition is broken up into two types of events - static and dynamic. The team with the highest total score is declared the winner, while other intermediate awards are presented.
Business Presentation (7.5%) - The objective is to evaluate the team's ability to deliver a presentation to an imaginary design firm. The car must meet the needs of an SCCA weekend autocross racer that can be "profitably marketed and manufactured."
Engineering Design (15%) - This event evaluates the value of engineering that went into the design of the car specifically, the frame, suspension, exhaust, and the throttle, air intake, and brake systems, as well as how well the car meets the standards imposed by the design scenario.
Cost and Manufacturing Analysis (10%) - The team must prepare a typed budget report carefully detailing where each penny was spent. The total cost of the racecar itself (not including development expenditures) must not exceed $25,000.
Acceleration (7.5%) - Evaluates the car's acceleration in a straight line on flat pavement. Each team has two runs.|
Skid-Pad (5%) - Measures the car's cornering ability on a flat surface while making a constant radius turn.
Autocross (15%) - The objective of the autocross is to evaluate the car's handling qualities on a tight course with no other cars competing. Two autocross heats are run, with each heat having a different driver. The single best lap from each heat is recorded.
Endurance/Fuel Economy (40%) - This 22-kilometer (13.6-mile) race is the hardest event in which to succeed, as every aspect of the car and driver abilities are tested. There is a mandatory driver change halfway through the race. Additionally, fuel economy is calculated and compared to each of the other cars.