CalSol has built several cars in the past years; let’s race back to the past and see where it all started.


Tachyon is CalSol’s first cruiser class vehicle! Cruiser class vehicles seat 2+ people, designed for practicality. Our 9th-generation solar vehicle, Tachyon first raced in Formula Sun Grand Prix 2019, winning second place. We also raced Tachyon at the 2019 World Solar Challenge!


Top speed: 60 mph

Dimensions: 4900mm x 2140mm x 1260mm

Motors: NGM SC-M150

Solar Cells: 326 SunPower E60 at 23.7% efficiency


Zephyr is CalSol’s 8th-generation solar vehicle. First raced in 2014, it has had a long and illustrious career, with more than 7000 miles logged. Racing Zephyr, CalSol has achieved back-to-back podium finishes in Formula Sun Grand Prix 2017 and 2018, winning first and second place, respectively.



Impulse is our 7th-generation solar car! We took Impulse to the 2011 World Solar Challenge in Australia in October 2011, and achieved 20th out of 37 teams. We then took it to the 2012 American Solar Challenge and achieved a record-breaking 4th place overall!

Gold Rush

As required, Gold Rush features an upright seating arrangement and a traditional steering wheel, making the driving experience more similar to that of a standard car (and a lot more comfortable!). The shell is made of Kevlar and Nomex honeycomb, with a Chromoly Steel Chassis. Gold Rush is the first CalSol car since Afterburner II (with Stanford) to feature a three wheel design. Gold Rush raced in the Formula Sun Grand Prix 2009.

Beam Machine

The Beam Machine placed third in class in the Formula Sun Grand Prix 2005. It went on to place second in class in the North American Solar Challenge 2005. The Beam Machine featured a narrower profile, an aluminum chassis and double A-arm suspension. It also featured an innovative battery protection system and earned the Best Stock Array award.

Solar Bear

The Solar Bear is CalSol’s first vehicle designed and built after the split of team Stanley. It was raced in the Formula Sun Grand Prix 2003 after CalSol’s four year hiatus from solar racing and finished in first in stock class. The rookie team then went on to race in the American Solar Challenge 2003 and finished the 2300 mile cross country journey in second place in stock class.

Third Degree Burner

Third Degree Burner looks similar to Afterburner II. However, our team redesigned the interior. The chassis is a carbon-honeycomb box structure and the suspension combines Risse Racing Technology shocks with custom-designed aluminum members. The aerodynamic shell is molded from kevlar and epoxy, in order to be light and rigid while providing a safe, energy-absorbing structure around the driver. The solar cells, made by ASE America, are 14.5 % efficient. Best of all, Afterburner II is exceptionally efficient, driving 45 mi/hr on the power of a single hair dryer.

Afterburner II

Third Degree Burner’s immediate predecessor, Afterburner II has upwards of 8,000 miles on it. Over the summer of ’97, Afterburner II raced in Sunrayce ’97 where it took third place, a mere hour behind the leader. Afterburner II also competed in the FIA electro-solar cup in Suzuka, Japan. It has two front wheels and one rear wheel. An 8-hp Solectria motor gives the vehicle zippy acceleration while providing ~90% efficiency at speeds of around 50 mph. The vehicle has reportedly reached 74 mph during testing.

California Dreamin’

CalSol’s first solar vehicle, California Dreamin’, was built by team members between the summers of 1990 and 1993. This vehicle first competed in Sunrayce ’93, an intercollegiate race of student built solar powered vehicles that stretched between Arlington, Texas and Minneapolis, Minnesota. It then ran in the 1994 Disneyland World Clean Air Road Rally, a three-day race of alternative-fueled vehicles that extended 90 miles across Southern California. In August, 1995 California Dreamin’ competed in the 1995 Suzuka Solar Car Race in Japan.