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Baja SAE

Baja SAE at Virginia Tech designs, manufactures and races a single seat off-road vehicle to compete against other colleges in competitions across the U.S.

The Baja car jumping in the air.

What is Baja SAE?

Baja SAE is an automotive design competition organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers. Teams are challenged to design a single seat off-road vehicle to conquer any terrain pushing the vehicle to its limits. The teams present their vehicle from an engineering design, cost and marketability perspective, before testing on track.

Teams compete in short course challenges focused on suspension, maneuverability, acceleration and more. This is followed by a 4 hour endurance race with around 100 vehicles on track competing at the start. By the end, only about 20 vehicles are still running. In competition, our cars are entirely driven by students. We also keep a fleet of older vehicles running, which lets anyone on the team drive and better understand how these cars handle. Due to this fleet of vehicles, there is also a great chance to gain hands-on maintenance and fabrication experience.

The Baja car on the steps in front of Burruss.
Baja cars on a track going over jumps.
The Baja team surrounds their car.
Baja cars lined up at a snowy starting line.

Who can join? 

We are currently seeking dedicated students from any major with a passion for engineering, teamwork, and racing. For more information on how to join please email us.


In January 2023, the team competed in Winter Baja at Michigan Tech University. The team earned 1st in the slalom race and hill climb, along with 2nd in the endurance race.

In May 2023, the team traveled to Cookeville, TN and earned 5th overall. This included 1st in suspension and 4th out of 93 teams in endurance. 

In May 2022, the team traveled to Tuscon, AZ and earned 2nd overall. This included 1st in acceleration and suspension, 3rd in maneuverability, and 6th in endurance.

Fast Facts

Team size: About 30 members
Department Afiliation: Mechanical Engineering
Workshop: Ware Lab