BMW building a new 2-man boblsed
BMW of North America announced Wednesday that it has been working with the USBSF to develop a new two-man bobsled. They want to be ready for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The deal has been in the works for more than a year and a prototype has already been delivered. The U.S. believes it could be a major boost to medal hopes.
"I happen to think these are going to be very good," USBSF CEO Darrin Steele said.
The U.S. won Olympic gold in women's bobsledding in 2002 and a four-man gold in 2010, but the two-man gold has eluded the Americans since 1936.
"They've helped us think outside the box on what they can do to extend the sponsorship past cash and tap into what they do really well, and that's technology and high-performance," Steele said. "They took a chance with this."
Bobsleds are much like race cars. There are very specific rules about how to build them, and to the naked eye, most seem identical.
If this goes the way BMW and the USBSF would like, this new two-man sled would be different, with both sides saying the look is unique.
"What we've got so far, it is recognizably different," said Michael Scully, a creative director for global design at BMW. "It can be what bobsleds in the future are identified as, or it can come to define something that doesn't work. We're really in the early stages of testing. What we're working on is still in development, but yes, it is distinctively recognizable."
BMW says its "EfficientDynamics" technology that works for cars is being applied to the sled plan. They are using lightweight materials, "optimized aerodynamics and chassis dynamics." All of it is being done to increase "overall sport performance."
Critical thinking challenge: How will BMW use what it know about cars to make a better bobsled?
Define these words: prototype, aerodynamics, chassis
- Posted on November 14, 2012
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