BMW creating performance wheelchair – CNNMoney
BMW is working on a new high-performance vehicle featuring lightweight carbon fiber construction and improved steering and braking performance.
There will be no engine, though, because this is a racing wheelchair.
It’s BMW North America’s latest project for the U.S. Olympic Team. The wheelchair will be used by the U.S. Paralympics Track and Field Team in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Besides a fully redesigned chassis, the new wheelchair will also have improved restraints for the athlete and “BMW’s signature aerodynamic efficiencies,” the automaker said in a statement.
Specialized wheelchairs can reach speeds of nearly 20 mph.
The German luxury automaker’s last project for the Olympic team was a two-man bobsled in which Steve Holcomb and Steve Langton won a bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi winter Olympics. It was the first bobsled medal the U.S. had won in over 60 years. BMW has also created coaching software to help track and field athletes improve their performance.
Engineers and designers at BMW’s California-based Designworks creative consultancy worked on the wheelchair project. BMW North America’s parent company, headquartered in Munich, Germany, does not have a similar relationship with the German Olympic team.
North America is BMW’s second largest market, after China, and also houses BMW’s largest factory in terms of production which is in Spartanburg, S.C.