Date:15 November 2011
Of the 111 teams that competed for the R70 million purse in last year’s Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize, only one was from a high school – West Philadelphia, where 85 per cent of students are economically disadvantaged. West Philly entered two vehicles – a Factory Five GTM biodiesel hybrid kit car and a converted Ford Focus petrol plug-in hybrid – and made it to the semi-finals with both. After its impressive X Prize performance, West Philly won the Green Grand Prix in Watkins Glen, New York, last April, when its GTM achieved the equivalent of 1,5 litres/100 km over 160 km. This year, the team won a Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award in the “Automotive” category.
View a video showing the Factory Five GTM being tuned…
Read more about this year’s Breakthrough Awards in the December 2011 issue of Popular Mechanics (on sale on 21 November).