The evolution of the Western Sydney University solar car

2013: SolAce


  • The original Solar Car Team, established in 2011, was formed by Jay Manley, graduate of the Bachelor of Engineering (Robotics and Mechatronics).
  • As only one of two Australian university teams in the total field of 42 entrants, the UWS Solar Car Team was pitted against heavyweight veterans including Cambridge University in the UK, Michigan University in America and Tokai University in Japan.
  • The vehicle – 'SolAce' – measures 4.5 metres in length and 1.6 metres in width. The 300kg carbon-fibre vehicle featured a CSIRO in-wheel motor, giving the vehicle a theoretical top speed of 150km per hour.
  • In the team's inaugural race, challenging weather conditions and mechanical issues led to SolAce being towed for a short time on the road to Adelaide. Despite these trials, the team finished in the top half of their class.



  • The team's second attempt at the World Solar Challenge coincided with the University's rebrand. The new 'Western Sydney University Solar Car Team' debuted its new vehicle 'UNLIMITED'.
  • UNLIMITED is a 150 kilogram, carbon-fibre car covered in 390 solar cells.
  • Competing against 30 contestants in the Challenger Class, Western's Team was pitted against long-time entrants from The Netherlands, USA and Japan who are ranked the best in the world.
  • The journey to Adelaide was not all smooth sailing, with UNLIMITED crashing after a suspension failure. Stranded on the side of the road, the team rallied together to fix the problem, re-joining the journey to Adelaide after just half an hour.
  • UNLIMITED crossed the finish line without having to hitch a ride on a trailer, meaning it completed the entire 3,000km race under solar power and was ranked according to time. The team reached Adelaide in 46 hours 51 minutes - crossing the finish line in tenth position.

2017: UNLIMITED 2.0


  • The 4.58m long, 1.4m wide 'UNLIMITED 2.0' has a sleek, aerodynamic, futuristic design - with a compact, narrow chassis; long, pointed nose; shortened rear and pearlescent paint.
  • In 2017 there will be more than 40 teams representing Tokai University in Japan, Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, and Stanford University in the United States. Australia will be represented by 7 teams including Adelaide University, Flinders University, Australian National University and TAFE SA. Western Sydney University and the University of New South Wales are the only Sydney-based universities participating in the challenge.
  • In 2017 the team is a more experience, professional unit and has learned from the experiences of SolAce and UNLIMITED. The team have shaken off their underdog status and UNLIMITED 2.0 is thought to be a top contender in the race.
  • The 22 member Solar Car team is comprised of Western Sydney University students from the fields of Engineering, Industrial Design and Visual Communications. The students manage every aspect of the production and design of the vehicle, as well as sponsorships, marketing and the administrative elements of their involvement in the Challenge.