Comment: These sorts of contests are

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These sorts of contests are

These sorts of contests are fun but are of little relevance in practical transportation. After all, the Cal Poly Car is much more like a recumbent bicycle than like a car you'd use to get your groceries or haul home stuff from Home Depot. Consider that on a bicycle a trained cyclist can go 15 mph using about 1/6th horsepower. Drag goes as the cube of the speed, So going 30 mph should require 8 * 0.1667 = 1.33 horsepower. With that in mind it's not so surprising that a 3 horsepower motor can get over 30 mph. Needless to say you're not going to be able to go down a limited access highway with such a vehicle. As with a bicycle you'll also find that your speed goes down dramatically on an up slope.

In just about any situation where you would use the Cal Poly Car you could use a bicycle instead. (Go recumbent and use a full fairing if you don't like the rain.)