Speedy MIT Solar Race Car Is One Part Cylon Raider, One Part Flight of the Navigator

MIT's latest creation, a speedy solar car cheekily named Eleanor, can reach 90 mph (good for enticing lead-footed Americans) and is packed with tech that could outfit mainstream hybrids soon (good for everyone else).

Eleanor, with her flying saucer-esque lines and solar panel skin, was constructed by students in MIT's Solar Electric Vehicle Team. The cutting edge electric vehicle tech contained inside comes with an unsurprising $243,000 price tag.

Later this month, the tri-wheeled electric vehicle will compete in the World Solar Challenge, a 2,000 mile, seven-day race across the Australian outback that's as much about battery charging strategies as it is keeping the accelerator pinned to the floor.

Related trivia: Even without ample sunlight charging the batteries, the car could go from Boston to New York City on a single charge at an average 55 mph. That's not bad, and beats the hell out of taking a white knuckle ride on the Fung-Wah bus. [Wired]