Idaho Tops in Mileage at Clean Snowmobile Challenge

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

The University of Idaho has earned best mileage honors among the finishers of Tuesday’s Endurance Run at the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge.

The two-stroke Ski-Doo engine, powered by conventional, E10 fuel—90 percent gas, 10 percent ethanol--got 19.6 miles per gallon on the 100-mile course at Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center. The University of Maine, also running on E10, tallied the second-best mileage, with 18.2 mpg.

Now in its fifth year at Michigan Tech, the Clean Snowmobile Challenge is the Society of Automotive Engineers' newest collegiate design competition. Teams of engineering students from participating schools take a stock snowmobile and reengineer it to reduce emissions and noise while maintaining or improving performance.

The third- through fifth-place finishers in the mileage competition were the University of Minnesota at Duluth, 14.3 mpg; Kettering University in Flint, 13.5 mpg; and Minnesota State University at Mankato, 12.5 mpg. All three were powered by E85 ethanol fuel, which contains less energy than E10 and usually results in lower mileage.

The State University of New York at Buffalo did not complete the Endurance Run, but was remarkable for the mileage it attained—21.4 mpg over 60 miles. The team’s snowmobile runs on B10, a diesel fuel containing 10 percent soy oil.

Despite the warm weather, the Polaris Acceleration and Handling Events are still scheduled for 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively, on Saturday, March 24, at the Keweenaw Research Center. The public is invited; attendees should be prepared to walk out to the course.

For more on the Challenge, visit .

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.