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Wednesday, April 8, 2009 10:03 pm



It’s official.

Kevin Smith and his gang of automotive aficionados announced this week that they’ve been accepted as contenders in the Progressive Automotive X Prize — an international competition that challenges 111 teams from 25 states and 11 countries to build a fast, inexpensive, 100-mile-per-gallon car.

It’s been a year since Illuminati Motorworks invited us out to their Divernon workshop and showed us the makings of “Seven,” their super “green,” Batmobile-inspired vehicle [see “Eyes on the prize,” March 27, 2008]. The local team has since starred in numerous documentaries (including BRINK on the Science Channel) and appeared at the Maker Faire, a Hyundai Motor Company event in Austin, Texas, that showcased do-it-yourself projects.

Now that they’re officially registered, Smith says, they’ll continue making headway on their vehicle (the team recently located the perfect power electronics and motor and are now chasing down the batteries). They’ll soon find out how many teams are competing for the $10 million prize purse and the date and location of the first qualifying head-to-head road race.