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Electric Avenue

8 Crazy Gasoline-Powered Cars That Can Travel Thousands Of Miles Without Refueling

  • <p>The Quebec-based Université Laval team came in first place for this deceptively silly-looking vehicle, which had a best run of 2,565 miles per gallon during the marathon’s two-day street course competition in downtown Houston. Yes, that’s correct--this vehicle could nearly make it across the continental United States on a tank of gas. The team scored a $5,000 prize for its win.</p>
  • <p>Second place went to Mater Dei High School for this vehicle, which squeezed out 1,799 mpg on its best run.</p>
  • <p>This third-place vehicle should also get the "most likely to give you a raging neck ache" award. Rose Hulman’s contraption got 1,476 mpg.</p>
  • <p>Indiana’s Mater Dei High School also scored fourth place for this 1,372 mpg vehicle. What do they serve these kids for lunch, anyway?</p>
  • <p>This vaguely retro vehicle from Sullivan High School squeezed out 1,057 mpg on its best run.</p>
  • <p>The University of Colorado at Boulder’s mechanical engineering students built this vehicle, which managed to pull off 1,008 mpg.</p>
  • <p>Wawasee High School’s gasoline-powered entry scored 879 mpg on its best run.</p>
  • <p>The University of Illinois’s vehicle, appropriately named "Orange Thunder," achieved 894 mpg on the Houston course.</p>
  • 01 /09
    | Shell Eco-Marathon
  • 02 /09
    | Université Laval

    The Quebec-based Université Laval team came in first place for this deceptively silly-looking vehicle, which had a best run of 2,565 miles per gallon during the marathon’s two-day street course competition in downtown Houston. Yes, that’s correct--this vehicle could nearly make it across the continental United States on a tank of gas. The team scored a $5,000 prize for its win.

  • 03 /09
    | Mater Dei

    Second place went to Mater Dei High School for this vehicle, which squeezed out 1,799 mpg on its best run.

  • 04 /09
    | Rose Hulman Institute of Technology

    This third-place vehicle should also get the "most likely to give you a raging neck ache" award. Rose Hulman’s contraption got 1,476 mpg.

  • 05 /09
    | Mater Dei

    Indiana’s Mater Dei High School also scored fourth place for this 1,372 mpg vehicle. What do they serve these kids for lunch, anyway?

  • 06 /09
    | Sullivan High School

    This vaguely retro vehicle from Sullivan High School squeezed out 1,057 mpg on its best run.

  • 07 /09
    | University of Colorado at Boulder

    The University of Colorado at Boulder’s mechanical engineering students built this vehicle, which managed to pull off 1,008 mpg.

  • 08 /09
    | Wawasee High School

    Wawasee High School’s gasoline-powered entry scored 879 mpg on its best run.

  • 09 /09
    | University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

    The University of Illinois’s vehicle, appropriately named "Orange Thunder," achieved 894 mpg on the Houston course.

Electric cars may be the future, but we’re stuck with mostly internal combustion engine-equipped vehicles for the moment, so we might as well make the best of it. In the slides ahead, we take a look at some of the top gasoline-powered performers in the fifth annual Shell Eco-Marathon, a competition for students to design, build, and test ultra energy-efficient vehicles (including electric, solar-powered, and fuel cell-powered models). We probably won’t see any of these cars on the road anytime soon, but their innovations could one day be incorporated into more practical (and comfortable) vehicles.

Click through the slideshow to see the cars (make sure to scroll down if you can’t see the captions).

Slideshow Credits: 01 / Shell Eco-Marathon; 02 / Shell Eco-Marathon; 03 / Shell Eco-Marathon; 04 / Shell Eco-Marathon; 05 / Shell Eco-Marathon; 06 / Shell Eco-Marathon; 07 / Shell Eco-Marathon; 08 / Shell Eco-Marathon; 09 / Shell Eco-Marathon;

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