GREENVILLE -- Students in Clemson University's automotive research program unveiled an electric concept car dubbed Deep Orange as part of a kickoff event Thursday for next week's Petit Le Mans race in Atlanta.

It is the first prototype vehicle to emerge from the school's graduate automotive engineering program launched in 2006.

Deep Orange, which is powered by lithium-polymer batteries, can reach a top speed of 100 mph and accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 10 seconds, school officials said. The batteries can be recharged either from a 110-volt wall socket or a two-cylinder gasoline engine.

The finished product, which will spend the next year on display at a variety of car and manufacturing shows, highlights the talents of students at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, officials said.

"The scope of the experience that Deep Orange provides our students will make them very attractive to the automotive industry," Paul Venhovens, leader of the Deep Orange project, said in a news release. "This project requires them to be directly, intimately involved in systems integration with industry partners collaborating and exposes them to the capabilities and limitations of certain technologies."

Designing and making a vehicle prototype is a requirement of the graduate automotive engineering program, which is located on a $215 million, 250-acre acre campus in Greenville and teaches systems engineering with a specific focus on the automobile.

"Our students were truly practicing the art of engineering and had to fight to achieve targets and compromise with each other to make the best product," Venhovens said. "They worked hard for 12 months and this is the moment to celebrate the achievements."

Next month, Deep Orange will be in Pasadena, Calif., on display at a classic car show at the Art Center College of Design, which has collaborated with ICAR on Deep Orange's design and style. The car then travels to Las Vegas for the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association Show. Other trade show appearances are planned for next spring and summer.