In the latest installment of BMW doing wonders for the U.S. Olympics program, the German automaker has released its first official photos of the two-man bobsled it has designed for the team and only the second two-seater slated for its 2014 model lineup. Unfortunately, you can’t buy this one. Used for the first time this past weekend in Igls, Austria, the bobsled brings some new tricks to the team’s program in their quest for gold in Sochi, Russia, at the 2014 Winter Games.
Using technologies and testing learned from BMW’s EfficientDynamics designs, the all-carbon fiber sled is lighter and more aerodynamic than past designs, with a design whose weight distribution BMW reckons is optimal for world-class competition. BMW says that is has learned plenty from its upcoming BMW i3 electric city car, which is made of carbon fiber, and has been able to channel it into its ice-going sled.
“The results of our testing thus far have been promising, but the true test of a bobsled’s speed is determined in competition,” said U.S. men’s bobsled head coach Brian Shimer, in a statement. “The team couldn’t wait to get this sled on the ice, so we bumped up its debut to Igls and we’re looking forward to seeing it in action. We need to test it under race conditions to see what improvements to make for next season.”
BMW and the USOC began a relationship before last summer’s Olympics in London. Together, they developed high-tech training cameras using the technology BMW already uses with its sensors and monitors in its passenger cars. BMW was tasked to with designing them to work with track and field in the U.S.-only project. For Team GB in England, BMW used similar technology to aid swimmers’ technique underwater.
Interestingly, BMW says in its release that it hopes to apply “world-class design and engineering expertise to redesign the two-man sled in the hopes of helping Team USA chase its first Olympic gold medal in the event since 1936.” That Winter Olympics was held in Bavaria, the last time Germany hosted the Winter Games. Let’s hope things come full circle for the Team USA next year in Russia with the help of BMW.