Ingenious: A True Story of Invention, the X Prize, and the Race to Revive America

Ingenious: A True Story of Invention, the X Prize, and the Race to Revive America


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The quest to engineer a radically new kind of car.
When the X Prize Foundation announced that it would give $10 million to anyone who could build a safe, mass-producible car that could travel one hundred miles on the energy equivalent of a gallon of gas, the challenge attracted more than one hundred teams from all over the world—including dozens of amateurs. Many designed their cars entirely from scratch, rejecting decades of thinking about what a car should look like.

Jason Fagone follows four of those teams from the build stage to the final race and beyond. The result is a gripping story of crazy collaboration, absurd risks, and poignant losses. In an old pole barn in central Illinois, childhood sweethearts hack together an electric-powered dreamboat, using scavenged parts, forging their own steel and burning through their life savings. In Virginia, an impassioned entrepreneur and his hand-picked squad of speed build a car so light that you can push it across the floor with your thumb. In West Philly, a group of disaffected high school students come into their own as they create a hybrid car with the engine of a Harley motorcycle. And in Southern California, the early favorite—a start-up backed by millions in venture capital—designs a car that looks like an alien egg.

Ingenious is a joyride. Fagone takes us into the garages and the minds of the inventors, capturing the fractious yet beautiful process of engineering a bespoke machine.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510718395
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 05/16/2017
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 775,694
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Jason Fagone has written about science, sports, and culture for GQ, Wired, the Atlantic, New York, Grantland, Mother Jones, the New York Times magazine, and The Best American Sports Writing. He is the author of Horsemen of the Esophagus, about competitive eaters, and is the recipient of a Knight-Wallace Fellowship in journalism. He lives outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with his wife and daughter. Tom Voelk, an Emmy Award–winning automotive writer, produces the Driven car review video series for the New York Times.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Introduction 1

Part 1 Shakedown

1 Kevin and Jen 7

2 Space Kids 23

3 The Abyss of Lightness 44

4 Ride or Die 60

5 Immigrants 77

6 Engineers 83

7 Yoda and Little Old Man 105

8 Wingless 113

9 The Hypocrisy the Masturbating Hand Endures 123

10 Edison2 Welcomes Informed Comment 139

11 The Moose Test 151

Part 2 Knockout

12 The Nobel Prize in Engineering 169

13 Yesterday Today and Forever 187

14 Fit and Finish 205

15 Little Red Corvette 223

16 This Whole New Scale 231

17 Lungs Cannot Oxidize 239

18 Voodoo Steve 250

19 Heat 261

20 Goonies Never Say Die 273

Part 3 The Ragged edge

21 The Greatest Place on Earth 287

22 The Race 302

23 Capitol Hill 314

24 Traction 326

25 The Old Frontage Road 342

Epilogue: Airborne 353

Acknowledgments 373

About the Author 377

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Ingenious: A True Story of Invention, the X Prize, and the Race to Revive America 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fun read that takes you around America and shines a light on the interesting characters and unlikely backgrounds of American ingenuity. This book is a well written and documented celebration of the achieving mindset.