The world’s first seven-seater bobsleigh

Bobsleigh 2

Categories: Design

7 April 2016


Never strangers to challenging convention (just last month, for example, we saw the launch of the self-parking office chair), Nissan’s design team have been hard at work again, this time creating the world’s first seven seat bobsleigh.

Inspired by the Nissan X-Trail, the unique bobsleigh carries off a sleek and distinctive appearance, while offering its passengers a 360 degree, bird’s eye view of their surroundings. Gliding down the Austria’s historic Olympic track at Innsbruck, the seven-seater reaches a maximum speed of about 105 km/h, and exerts around 4.5G force on its human cargo. This means the downward force acting on each rider is more than four times the normal gravitational pull we experience day-to-day, and put into perspective, is 1.5G stronger than the forces experienced by astronauts during a rocket launch.

As well as mimicking the X-Trail in looks, Daryl Scriven, Design Manager of Nissan Design Europe, teamed up with expert bobsleigh manufacturer Diego Menardi, and sport expert Ian Richardson, to blend the car’s design with Olympic aerodynamics.

Transformed from the traditional four seat sleigh, the X-Trail bobsleigh was designed using sketches and computer aided design, and the finished body is contoured to reflect the shape and sculpture of the car’s bonnet. The sleigh was handcrafted by Menardi in his workshop in Cortina, Italy, and features a lengthened cabin to safely accommodate the three additional passengers.

With over fifty years of combined industry and Olympic experience involved to bring the X-trail Bobsleigh to life, it seemed only fitting that British Olympic medallist Sean Olsson should pilot the bobsleigh on its inaugural run down the iconic track in Austria.

Watch the video below to see the bobsleigh take to the ice for the very first time.

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