INGENIOUS is the incredible true story of the 2008 Automotive X Prize, a competition offering $10 million to anyone who could design the next big thing in automobiles: a safe, mass-producible car that gets 100 miles to the gallon. The prize attracted competitors worldwide, including hundreds of amateur entrants. Author Jason Fagone follows four teams as they navigate building a car, face financial and emotional turmoil, and make their way through the elimination rounds. You may be familiar with one of the teams: A group of students at West Philadelphia High School Academy of Automotive and Mechanical Engineering inspired Jason to follow this saga in the first place. The Academy kids built two cars – one meant to be sexier than a Prius, the other designed to be within affordable reach of their low-income neighborhood, meant to “entice inner-city drivers to ditch their hoopties for hybrids.” INGENIOUS is a book about cars as much as Seabiscuit is a book about horses: the renaissance of the auto industry is just the backdrop for an uplifting celebration of the creative spirit. These amateur inventors sink their souls— not to mention their savings— into their work, and every success and setback has the potential to be make-or-break. Fagone covers the whole scope of the competition, from inception to the final race, as the teams are heartbreakingly eliminated. It is a thrillride of a story and a compelling look at the current state of American innovation. Fagone is taking his act on the road for a short East Coast promo tour that stops at The Hacktory on Sunday. Joining Fagone will be Kevin Smith of Illuminati Motor Works, maker the magnificent Illuminati car, a superlong electric vehicle that somehow gets 207 MPGe.