Maker of the „Ultimate Driving Machine‟ Aiming to Create Ultimate
Bobsled with Complete Redesign of Team USA‟s Fastest Bobsled
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – November 14, 2012…BMW of North America, the
Official Mobility Partner of the United States Olympic Committee,
today announced the company is developing a new two-man bobsled for
use by Team USA in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. In
collaboration with USA Bobsled & Skeleton Federation (USBSF), BMW
aims to leverage its world-class engineering and design expertise to
answer longstanding equipment and innovation needs of the U.S. Bobsled Team.
Working first with USBSF to capture its deep empirical knowledge, BMW
then examined the design and performance history of existing two-man
sled platforms, one of which has been the default bobsled of Team USA
for more than 20 years, to completely re-engineer the two-man bobsled.
Similar to vehicle development, BMW EfficientDynamics have been
applied to the design of the two-man sled. The company has paired
intelligent lightweight materials, optimized aerodynamics and chassis
dynamics to leverage the energy output of the two-man team, increasing
overall sport performance.
This project was sparked by a request made by USBSF of BMW to assist
the team in shoring up a technology gap specific to the innovation of
the U.S. two-man sled. While Team USA achieved momentous success at
the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, winning a gold medal in the
four-man bobsled event, the two-man Olympic gold is one that has
eluded the U.S. since 1936.
"We‟re extremely proud of what we‟ve been able to accomplish as
a team in the last 10 years, and know that we have the athletic
potential to bring home more Olympic gold medals next year," said
Darrin Steele, chief executive officer of USBSF. "By bringing BMW
in to provide its expertise, we see an opportunity to close an
equipment gap between Team USA and countries that have historically
led Olympic two-man bobsled competition."
More than one year in development, a prototype of the BMW two-man
bobsled has already been delivered to USBSF. The technology will be
refined in the next year in continuance of a highly iterative
development process that involves on-site immersion with USBSF
athletes, coaches and engineers by BMW Group DesignworksUSA, BMW
Group‟s international design studio headquartered in California, and
on-ice testing by USBSF.
"What‟s been unique to this process is the level of
collaboration by our creative team with the performance staff at USA
Bobsled & Skeleton," said Laurenz Schaffer, President, BMW
Group DesignworksUSA. "The level of immersion we‟ve been able to
achieve, which included athlete interviews for preferences and
improvement areas, ergonomic evaluations and optimization studies in
aerodynamics, has helped us to design what we believe will be a truly
improved and innovative product."
This announcement succeeds the completion of BMW‟s first and second
technology transfer projects as part of its partnership with the USOC:
a velocity measurement system for long jumpers and a motion tracking
system for swimmers. All are part of BMW‟s larger commitment to
advancing the training and performance goals of the athletes of Team
USA as part of a sponsorship that extends through the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
"At BMW, we‟re no strangers to sport performance characteristics
such as agility, speed and aerodynamics," said Ludwig Willisch,
President and Chief Executive Officer, BMW of North America. "To
be involved in a project with opportunity for such direct transfer of
our core competencies to the advancement of Team USA was a very
exciting proposition for us. We can‟t wait to see this finished sled
on the ice."
To learn more about BMW‟s partnership with the USOC and its four
national governing body partners, USA Bobsled & Skeleton, US
Speedskating, USA Swimming and USA Track & Field, visit www.bmwusanews.com.