I'll forgive you if you thought the Automotive X Prize had started already. Not the actual race, of course, which is coming in 2009-2010, but the preliminary parts. I guess all of those teams that have signed letters of intent to participate were active in the pre-preliminary-phase. The official start of the Automotive X Prize will be a week from today at the 2008 New York International Auto Show. That's when the organizers will be announcing not only the title sponsor of the event but also the exact amount of the multimillion dollar prize purse. We'll be on hand for the big reveal, next week and we'll be checking out which of the 60 announced teams will be on hand for our cameras and recorders. More details after the jump.


Press Release:

Automotive X PRIZE to Announce Title Sponsor and Multimillion Dollar Prize Purse at 2008 New York International Auto Show

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 13, 2008)

Automotive X PRIZE

WHAT/WHY: The Automotive X PRIZE, an international, multimillion dollar competition designed to inspire a new generation of viable, super-efficient vehicles, will announce its much anticipated title sponsor and multimillion dollar prize purse at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). This announcement signals the official beginning of the Automotive X PRIZE competition.

WHEN/WHERE: Thursday, March 20, 1 p.m. EDT The New York International Auto Show; Crystal Plaza at Jacob Javits Center

VISUALS: A select number of teams with their vehicles and representatives from the to-be-announced title sponsor will join the Automotive X PRIZE in the booth for photos and interviews.

THE GOAL: The independent and technology-neutral Automotive X PRIZE competition is open to teams from around the world that can design, build and bring to market 100 MPG or equivalent (MPGe) vehicles that people want to buy and that meet market needs for price, size, capability, safety and performance.

RACE PARTICIPANTS: To date, more than 60 teams from nine countries have signed a Letter of Intent to compete for a share of the multimillion dollar prize purse and global publicity.

OTHER SHOW ANNOUNCEMENTS: In addition to the major announcements of the Automotive X PRIZE title sponsor and multimillion dollar prize purse, X PRIZE officials will unveil new details on the entry process, rigorous cross-country stage races planned for 2009 and 2010, and the process for becoming an Automotive X PRIZE Host City.

ABOUT THE AUTOMOTIVE X PRIZE:

The Automotive X PRIZE is a project of the X PRIZE Foundation, which creates and manages prizes that drive innovators to solve the world's greatest challenges. The X PRIZE Foundation first captured world headlines in 2004, when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan and Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen, built and flew the world's first private vehicle to space twice in two weeks to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The Automotive X PRIZE is being designed with the generous help of world-class experts, advisors and organizations who represent a broad and diverse group of interests and share the organization's concerns and goals. For more detail, see our advisors, supporters, and blog at http://auto.xprize.org.

[Source: Automotive X Prize]