BMW has designed a two-man bobsled for the US Men’s Bobsled Team using the same EfficientDynamics principles it applies to the development of its passenger vehicles.
Developed in collaboration with the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, the BMW sled features lightweight materials like carbonfibre and optimised aerodynamics, mirroring the technology present in the latest concept and production cars from the German manufacturer.
During its development, BMW reconfigured the sled’s weight distribution to achieve a better balance of the mandated sled weight, resulting in a significantly lighter body shell with a lower and more centralised centre of gravity.
BMW Group Designworks USA creative director Michael Scully said the bobsled prototype was the result of a year-long development process.
“BMW EfficientDynamics techniques are at the heart of the sled’s design, making it sleeker, lighter and we hope faster: essentially a BMW on ice,” Scully said.
BMW hopes its sled will help Team USA to its first Olympic gold medal in 78 years at the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The sled took part in its first competitive run last weekend in the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation World Cup in Igls, Austria. Team USA finished fifth, with Team Switzerland 1 claiming gold, two German teams (with no links to BMW) rounding out the podium, and Team Latvia 1 finishing fourth.
BMW says it will continue to gather data and feedback from Team USA’s athletes, coaches and races to improve the performance of the new sled in the lead-up to the Sochi Games.