The Ultimate Rolling Machine
Let’s face it: When it comes to vehicular engineering of all types, automotive engineers pretty much have a handle on it.
So it is not entirely surprising to discover that BMW of North America is developing a racing wheelchair for the U.S. Paralympics Track and Field Team for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
BMW’s Designworks, its Newbury Park, California-based design consultancy, is working with members of the team to determine what the athletes need.
So far they’ve determined that the chassis will be completely redesigned. They’ll be using carbon fiber composites to produce the wheelchair—and presumably the i3 and i8 experience with the material will be helpful. They’ll be making the wheelchair more aerodynamic, enhance the athlete restraint (as with autos, safety is critical), and improve both the steering and braking systems.
BMW of North America is the Official Mobility Partner of the U.S. Olympic committed, and it has worked with Team USA on other vehicles, like a two-man bobsled for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, which helped achieve a Bronze Medal, the first time in 62 years Team USA medaled in that sport.
Here’s hoping the racing wheelchair will help the U.S. paralypians get the Gold in Rio.
While we’ve noted that the Bloodhound SSC is being prepared to run for a land speed record, it is worth noting that Triumph Motorcycles has announced that next month it plans to run for a record at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
The engineers at Zenos Cars have combined recycled carbon fiber, drinking straws and aluminum to create a chassis for a low-volume sports car.
TRW has announced that it is supplying an electrically powered hydraulic steering (EPHS) system to Ferrari for its LaFerrari hybrid vehicle.