Fresh off of the success of Luminos and Arctan and faced with a rule change that limited our chosen silicon array area to 4 square meters rather than 6, our team approached Sundae’s design with the goal of building SSCP’s most sleek and aerodynamic car yet. Although the smaller size allowed for a slimmer design and lower drag coefficients, it also brought extensive mechanical packaging challenges, leading to a complete redesign of the suspension and more compact compartments for battery, electronics, and driver. Sundae’s extended build cycle did not leave much time for stateside testing in California, but we still racked up well over one race worth of testing miles while testing out of Coober Pedy. Sundae went on to place 9th in BWSC 2017, braving challenging weather conditions and 3 days of rain and desert thunderstorms.
Sundae was our lowest drag car yet, and also the first car from SSCP to feature a hinging array that could be tilted and set at various angles to face the sun. Once again, we developed our own solar cell encapsulation and ran on the same custom motors designed for Luminos and Arctan.
The race towards Adelaide in 2017 started out on an exciting note as we had trouble with a flat only an hour outside of Darwin. Having fixed this, the car proceeded to perform mechanically reliably – but the weather took a turn for the worse. 3 days of mostly rain and clouds had us limping towards control stops in South Australia as the battery pack ran low. We felt lucky to place 9th in the race and were excited to have a great final day of sun as we cruised into Adelaide!