Automotive X-Prize Profile: AMP (Advanced Mechanical Products)

Over the next few months and at a casual, intermittent pace, I’m going to use this blog to profile official contenders in the Progressive Automotive X-Prize. I’ll provide links so interested readers can explore them further, and I encourage you to post your opinions of each contender, their technologies, and how you think they’ll do in this extraordinary competition.

This entry looks at AMP (Advanced Mechanical Products) out of Ohio.


Vehicle name: AMP

Fuel(s): Electric

Class*: Alternative

*The Alternative class is “An outlet for innovation, with fewer performance & design Restrictions.”

Key Technology

The AMP is a Saturn Sky roadster converted to a dedicated electric vehicle with a 0-60 acceleration of 5.7 seconds, a top speed of 90 mph, and a fuel efficiency of 115-125 MPGe. Much of the vehicle's technology is under wraps but we do know it will use two brushless DC motors, one in each rear wheel, and lithium phosphate batteries, which have a full recharge time of around 3.5 hours.

Saturn Sky Redline (pictured: Saturn Sky Redline)


AMP aims to create an electric vehicle powertrain easily installed into commercially available vehicles; first the Saturn Sky (model years 2007 through 2010), then with the appropriate configurations, for other ICE vehicles.

They are currently taking orders for their conversion (and claim to have 75 pre-sales already, leaving just 225 charter conversions remaining), but you need to provide the Saturn Sky. While AMP is coordinating with local Saturn dealers to get better pricing for AMP customers, in all it is adding up to be a bit pricey: a current model Saturn Sky starts at around $32,000, and AMP's conversion fee is $25,000.

Team Leader(s)

Steve Burns, AMP Founder and CEO. Burns has a background as an entrepreneur in mobile communications companies, such as

Tim Wieck. AMP's chief engineer has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Portland and has aerospace and automotive engineering experience, most notably as chief design engineer with Parkway Products, a large international aerospace components manufacturer.

Don Wires. AMP's engineering director spent a number of years establishing advanced manufacturing processes for Proctor & Gamble. He has US patents in automation and safety systems and is a Distinguished Alumni Graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Applied Science.

Financial backing

Not available.

External links

Previous Automotive X-Prize Profiles:


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