The Baja 1000 Buggy is a design created by Dong Tran,
a Vietnamese-American Senior Automotive Design student
at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. The Baja
1000 Buggy is a winner of the 2009 Michelin Challenge
Design competition. It won in both the vehicle design
and wheel design categories.
The Baja 1000 Buggy features an all-electric
For the 2009 competition the brief was to design a 'Brave
and Bold' vehicle which could become America's next iconic
vehicle. The Baja 1000 race is definitely brave and bold.
It is a race that requires extreme patience and endurance
from both driver and vehicle.
The Baja 1000 is an off-road race that takes place on
Mexico's Baja California Peninsula in the fall. The event
includes various types of vehicle classes such as small
and large bore motorcycles, stock VW, production vehicles,
buggies, trucks, and custom fabricated race vehicles.
The Baja 1000 course has remained relatively the same
over the years with the majority of events being either
a point to point race from Ensenada to La Paz, or a loop
race starting and finishing in Ensenada. The name of the
event is misleading as the mileage varies for the type
of event (loop or point to point) and has represented
Kilometers in the past.
The Baja 1000 concept utilizes radical new wheel and tire
technology to enhance the single rider race buggy. The
inwheel motors of the concept feature brushless motors
along with wheels that were inspired by Francis turbines.
The spokes of the wheels turn into the center of the wheel
motors and draw in air to provide cooling air to the hot
electrical motors. The exhaust of the vehicle consists
of pure water and can be recycled to help hydrate the
driver during the long race.
The Baja 1000 Buggy concept uses solar cells infused into
the body shell to aid the charging of the all electric
drivetrain along with a hydrogen fuel cell powersource.
Thanks to the constant top up provided by the solar cells
the concept is able to outlast its opponents in the grueling
As expected, the Baja 1000 concept features completely
independent long travel suspension which helps smooth
out the large bumps. The tires are completely airless
and feature LEDs lights on the tread to help warn spectators
during the night.
The design influence of the vehicle is based purely on
function. Everything looks the way it does because that
is the best solution to overcome the problems of long
distance, off-road travel.