The last three days of the finals of the PIAXP took place at the Chrysler Proving Grounds in Chelsea, MI and represented the first part of the validation phase. The results of the coastdown runs are the basis for the load-settings of the dynometers at ANL (Argonne National Labs) in Chicago, IL. The two E-Tracers achieved the expected distances when they were accelerated up to about 75 mph, the throttles were shut off and the installed optical instruments and computers then measured the rolling distances and speeds between 70 and 10 mph. Each vehicle had to make 10 runs in both directions to eliminate errors from wind and track influences. We were pleasantly surprised by the friendly, competent, helpful and professional Chrysler test team. Corey, one of the test drivers, is also a seasoned BMW-biker and jumped to the occassion of receiving his E-Tracer driving instructions. After a short 3 minute briefing, he took off, retracted the outriggers without a single wobble, and continued to perfectly follow my suggestions of some low speed handling maneuvers. Good job, man! It’s a pleasure of watching a real pro go through something totally new: no haste, keep ahead of your vehicle, listen to your instructor, ask all the right questions. Don’t try to impress somebody by going fast, but by being precise! We have learned a lot about serious vehicle testing at Chrysler and I’m truly impressed of their work. Thanks, guys! -Roger
You can read about and catch glimpses of the E-Tracers on the track and performing the emergency double lane change maneuver during last week’s Finals at Michigan International Speedway in the latest Consumer Reports Automotive X PRIZE Finals Race Results blog.