Louisiana Tech University's Roadster
Photograph by Harley Soltes, National Geographic
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Styled to look like a hot rod of the past and to sip fuel like a car from the future, Louisiana Tech University's Roadster took home one of two grand prizes in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas.
The team from Ruston, Louisiana, achieved 647 miles per gallon (275 kilometers per liter) in the student competition for design of high-efficiency vehicles. Louisiana Tech won the $5,000 top award for "urban concept” vehicles—cars that meet the safety requirements to be driven on city streets—plus an additional $1,000 award for design in the April 16-17 contest in Houston.