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April 6, 2017

UW-Madison team wins second place in 2017 Clean Snowmobile Challenge

Written By: Adam Malecek


A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineering students won second place overall in the highly competitive internal combustion division at the 2017 SAE International Clean Snowmobile Challenge.

The Society of Automotive Engineers competition, held at the Michigan Technological University Keweenaw Research Center March 6 through 11, challenges students to redesign the powertrain of a conventional snowmobile to make it exceptionally clean and quiet while maintaining performance and controlling costs. The teams and their modified snowmobiles compete in a variety of tests ranging from an endurance run to oral presentations to exhaust emissions measurements.

The team started with a 2015 Ski-Doo MXZ chassis and ACE 600 four-stroke engine. The students bored and stroked the stock engine to 674 cc and improved the design with an optimized exhaust, intake, and an air-to-water cooler for the exhaust gas recirculation system.

The team increased its snowmobile’s engine power by 20 percent and torque by 20 percent, and decreased oxides and nitrogen emissions by 18 percent from the previous year. Compared to the stock numbers, the students’ sled produced 98 percent less hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. The team also won awards for best emissions, lowest in-service emissions and best fuel economy.