Several factors contribute to making a winning buggy. First and foremost the buggy has to meet the strict specification of the rule book. The philosophy hasn’t changed since the event’s birth back in 1976 – the teams still need to build a simple all-terrain vehicle for recreation purpose that is aesthetically and ergonomically sound while still being a fun and durable machine in the real world conditions. The evaluation process for the BAJA SAEINDIA is a twofold process and students have to clear the Virtual Baja preliminary round before they start manufacturing their buggy’s for the main events.

The teams are judged on six main parameters in the Virtual BAJA event which are – their knowledge of the rule book, the design of the vehicle, the project plan, the design methodology and the design evaluation plain. A total of 400 points are available for each team’s design and the top 120 teams were selected this year to complete in the main event.

The evaluation process in the main event is a different ball game altogether and the students finally got to showcase their finished buggy’s to the judges. In the static tests the buggy’s are evaluation on various factors such as cost, aesthetics and the quality of the fabrication. There are also many dynamic tests such as acceleration. Braking, maneuverability over all terrain and a hill climb test. But none of these tests are more grueling than the endurance race where the drivers and buggy’s are pushed to their limits till a winner emerges.

The hill climb (above) and the obstacle course (below) are just some of the dynamic tests that the buggy’s have to endure to make it to the finish line.