SAE Baja Project Description

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja Collegiate Design Series is an engineering challenge in which university  students design and build a single-seat, all-terrain vehicle to compete against other schools’ designs and vehicles.  In this competition, our Northern Arizona University team is competing against over one hundred school teams from across the nation. The competition will include a series of challenges including design, acceleration, maneuverability, sled pull, and suspension tests/races.

The NAU team strives to be competitive at the SAE Baja Competition in Gorman, California in April 2024. More specifically, the team's highest goal is to be in the top 5 programs overall. To achieve this goal, the team is dedicated to continuous innovation and collaboration . Our team is composed of 13 mechanical engineering students, divided into four sub teams including drivetrain, frame, front end, and rear suspension. Meet the team engineers here.

In order to build a competitive vehicle, the project requires extensive funding. We look forward to partnering with successful companies and valuable donors in this process. The team would appreciate your help to generate fundraising.  Please visit the Fundraising page to contribute and invest in the success of this project.

Team Descriptions

Front End

The front end team consists of three members who are responsible for the suspension, steering, and braking design of the front half of the vehicle. The geometric design of this region is highly iterative and requires substantial integration with other sub-teams in the group. The front end team hopes to design a system that will allow the vehicle to place amongst the top teams in the maneuverability aspect of the SAE Baja competition in Gorman, CA.

Rear Suspension

The rear suspension team has three team members who are responsible for team finances, website development, as well as the suspension system in the rear. Finding the rear suspension geometry, like the front end, can require a very iterative process to find a strong suspension system. The team’s focus is creating a system that is lightweight and maximizes the amount of power coming out of the axles to the wheels. This also requires intense integration with other sub teams to ensure a competitive vehicle.


The frame team is composed of three team members who are responsible for designing and fabricating the Baja vehicle frame. In the design phase, the frame team must meet SAE Baja Technical Rules and integrate each sub-system onto the frame. In the manufacturing phase, the frame team will fabricate the frame and coordinate the sub-system integration necessary to build a competitive Baja vehicle. By completing these tasks, the frame team will optimally enable the performance of the other sub-teams, which will result in a high placement at the 2024 SAE Baja event in Gorman, California.


The drivetrain team is made up of four members who are responsible for the propulsion of the vehicle. This system consists of the transmission, gearboxes and 4WD integration. Our goal is to make this car as fast as possible in the acceleration event and be able to sustain high speeds in all the other events at the SAE Baja Competition in Gorman, California.