SAE Supermileage® History

The SAE Supermileage competition originated in 1980 as a partnership between SAE and Eaton Corporation. From 1984 through 1996, the SAE Supermileage program operated as two competition locations: one in Marshall, Michigan and the other on the west coast. Then in 1997, SAE and Eaton reduced the competition to operate at one location. During 2000 – 2008, the competition saw participation from the high school and collegiate academic levels but in 2009 the competition ceased high school entries. The competition has been held continuously at the Eaton Marshall Proving Grounds for 40+ years.

In the early 1980s following the success of their involvement in Baja SAE (formerly Mini Baja), Briggs & Stratton partnered with SAE International to provide student teams with a Briggs & Stratton Model 9 engine (no longer in production). Today, teams are using the Briggs & Stratton Junior 206, Model 124332, Type 8202-01 engine. In 1980, student teams were able to reach levels of 800 miles per gallon. Today, student teams are routinely reaching levels in the 2,000 – 3,000 miles. The current highest record set at competition was 4,113 miles achieved by Universite Laval in 2017.

As part of SAE International Collegiate Design Series, SAE Supermileage® is an engineering design competition for undergraduate and graduate students. The program provides participants with the opportunity to enhance their engineering design and project management skills by applying learned classroom theories in a challenging competition. The engineering design goal for SAE Supermileage is to develop and construct a single-person, fuel-efficient vehicle that complies with the competition rules. The vehicles will run a specified course around an approximately 1.6-mile-long, banked, oval track to obtain the highest combined kilometers per liter (miles per gallon) rating; students will be exposed to a design segment consisting of a written report and verbal presentation.