Consumer Reports covered the Automotive X Prize competition
Illuminati Motor Works Seven
Team name: Illuminati Motor Works
Location: Springfield, Ill.
Vehicle name: Seven
Status: Eliminated. Failure to reach 0-60 mph acceleration in less than 15 seconds.

Who are they? This group of Midwestern engineers revolves around leader Kevin Smith, who works for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. It includes his father, his wife, and several friends he's met at various jobs. The team has been working together on their car for 2-1/2 years.

What they say will set them apart: The Illuminati Seven has several advantages: the largest battery pack in the competition with an estimated range of over 200 miles on a charge, gull-wing doors (which help provide crash structure in the vehicle's roof), and four-wheel-steering, which helped this large car set the early best time in CR's emergency avoidance maneuver.

Field notes: A homegrown underdog, Illuminati Motor Works repeatedly surprised its competition as the long sedan made short work of the various tests. At Knockout, Illuminati became one of two remaining teams in the Mainstream class before the manual transmission broke, ending the team's promising run for the $5 million prize. The Seven uses a clutch and shifter from a 1998 Dodge Neon and a transmission from a 1997 Geo Metro. The team estimates it has spent more than $120,000 on the competition, plus priceless hours from volunteers.

Class: Mainstream
No. of wheels: Four
Passengers: Four
Drive type: Battery electric, front-wheel-drive
Power source: 30 kwh lithium-ion phosphate batteries, and a 40 kw (continuous) 200 kw peak hp electric motor.
Charging: 220v, 40 amp off board charger will charge the car overnight

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