Baja SAE® consists of competitions that simulate real-world engineering design projects and their related challenges. Engineering students are tasked to design and build an off- road vehicle that will survive the severe punishment of rough terrain. Each team's goal is to design and build a single-seat, all-terrain, sporting vehicle whose structure contains the driver. The vehicle is to be a prototype for a reliable, maintainable, ergonomic, and economic production vehicle which serves a recreational user market.
The objective of the competition is to provide SAE student members with a challenging project that involves the design, planning and manufacturing tasks found when introducing a new product to the consumer industrial market. Teams compete against one another to have their design accepted for manufacture by a fictitious firm. Students must function as a team to not only design, build, test, promote, and race a vehicle within the limits of the rules, but also to generate financial support for their project and manage their educational priorities.
All vehicles are powered by a 14hp Kohler Command Pro CH440 engine with a modified restrictor plate label for competition testing. Kohler and SAE International entered an agreement, Kohler will provide at discount engines to participating teams for the 2023 – 2026 competition seasons. Use of the same engine by all teams creates a more challenging engineering design test.
The official Collegiate Design Series (CDS) competitions that are authorized and governed by SAE International are listed below. Unless listed below, the design competition or event is not an official SAE International competition, and is not authorized, sanctioned or endorsed by SAE International.