“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” I believe the great one Wayne Gretzky said that. That quote has stuck with me since the inception of this project. We took our shot. We put everything we had into it, and, in my eyes, we succeeded. Are we walking away with one of those gaudy giant checks for $5M? No. However we did what many could not or would not. We had the best MPGe numbers out of ANY of the mainstream entries at Knockout. That is fact. We surpassed the competition’s requirements in a stage that we only had to reach 2/3 of the ultimate goal. Think about that for a moment. A group of 7 normal folks from mid America accomplished the base goal of an international $10M competition. Our design was proven. Our aerodynamics work. Our weakness ended up being a standard OEM transmission, and we’re not even sure it was working properly when we smashed the 2/3 requirements for efficiency and range! We can only imagine what our numbers would have been if we had a proper and reliable transmission.
That’s the dig. Imagine what we could have put on the track if we only had that one big sponsor. Save for that one mechanical twitch, I feel that we would have had the numbers to win the Progressive Insurance Automotive XPrize. I am a naturally pessimistic person. This project changed that for me. As our work moved forward, I grew confident. Every week we could see tangible progress to SEVEN. We went from an “against all odds” team to a one in three shot at taking the whole damn show. Our entire budget, from the chalk we used to draw on the floor, to feeding the team every night, down to the travel and hotels for the events, and building the entire car was, I’m sure, less than some teams spent on a single component of their cars.
No excuses. No regrets. We did what we could with what little resources we had available. We will finish SEVEN. We will improve on our already proven design. We will fix what needs fixing, and we will exceed every requirement that we originally set out to meet.
In the event that there is no winner in the Mainstream Division, we are taking a preemptive approach to be ready in case XPrize should decide to invite the Mainstream teams back for another shot.
You have not heard the last of Illuminati Motor Works. You have not seen the last of SEVEN.
Audere Est Facere! We did.