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    A group of undergraduates is “fishing” for a victory at the Shell Eco Challenge Marathon (Semasia) by banking on their fish-like prototype vehicle.Read the full news from NST below.


    JOHOR BARU: A car that can take you 1,000km on a litre of petrol may sound like a fantasy, but a team from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) Skudai have actually made it.

    Say hello to the Claria V, a prototype single-seater smart car which uses a 35cc engine taken from a grasscutter developed by 18 UTM Skudai mechanical engineering (automotive) students.

    The vehicle’s development advisor, associate Professor Pakharuddin Mohd Samin said Claria V would be pitted against vehicles made by teams from other countries such as Indonesia, China, Iran, Taiwan and Japan in the Shell Eco Challenge on July 1 at the Sepang F1 Circuit.

    He said other than UTM, 19 other teams from 11 local universities would take part in the competition, which Malaysia would host for the first time.

    Pakharuddin said last year’s winner of the competition which was held in Germany, Lycee NA JELIVERIE of France, clocked in 3,300km on a litre of petrol.

    “And we want to achieve half of the total distance recorded by the French team,” he said at the launch of Claria V yesterday by UTM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Zaini Ujang.

    Pakharuddin said the car was named after the scientific name of the catfish clarias bastrachus, following its design which looks similar to the fish. The car was developed at the cost of RM25,000 with a total weight of chassis and engine 49.3kg.

    Pakharuddin said the competition’s objective was to invent a vehicle with the ability to reach the furthest distance with minimal fuel usage.

    “The car is made of fibreglass while the steering and transmission for example is made from aluminium. The combined weight with the driver will be less than 100kg.”

    Claria V team manager Syed Nur Adaf Zhafry Ismail, 21, said it was hoped that with prototype, there would be solutions in the search of a more efficient fuel usage.

    Zaini said the race would be a medium for undergraduates to apply all the theories learned by researching material density, design, aerodynamic and traction among others.

    “And, indirectly it provides an experience for the students in the automotive field.”

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