It used to be that the best BMW for winter-weather driving was an Audi (which, as you should know, isn’t a BMW product at all). Then BMW said it could build a better mousetrap and developed its own all-wheel-drive system.
But BMW’s ultimate winter driving machine may not be a car at all: It’s a bobsled.
BMW is a partner with the Team USA Olympics program through the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Games, developing new technologies for athletes to perform at their peak all throughout the partnership. After helping the track and field and swimming teams through last summer, BMW is now hopping on board with the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation (USBSF) to engineer a more efficient two-man bobsled.
Designed and engineered by BMW’s DesignworksUSA contracting firm, the same outfit that brought the world the BMW X5, Roll-Royce Phantom sedan, and a ton of industrial design projects you probably didn’t know came from BMW, the new two-man bobsled is made of lightweight materials like carbon fiber and optimized using BMW’s EfficientDynamics philosophy of merging aerodynamics and handling optimization for control. While BMW has recently put some of its renown performance feel on the backburner in favor of more comfort and attracting a wider swath of customers, it’s still important to recognize this is a German automaker we’re talking about, and they know how to engineer things to an exacting specification.
Already, BMW has delivered its first prototypes to the U.S. bobsled team, as 2014 isn’t too far away at all. BMW being BMW, the company wants to make sure the product it delivers is just right. In 2010, BMW’s four-man bobsled design helped bring Team USA a gold medal, but the two-man team didn’t fare as well.
Says Darrin Steele of the USBSF, “By bringing BMW in to provide its expertise, we see an opportunity to close the equipment gap between Team USA and countries that have historically led the Olympic two-man bobsled competition.”
He’s probably referring to the Jamaicans. There was a very good biopic on them a few years ago. Anyway, we should see more of BMW’s Winter Olympics endeavors in the coming months.