Tuesday 1 March, Geneva Motor Show: Today, Jaguar and Olympic skier Graham Bell announced a technical partnership aimed at setting a Guinness World Record in 2017.
Graham, now TV presenter on successful British TV show ‘The Jump’, hopes to become the fastest man on skis with the support of Jaguar Land Rover engineers, facilities and expertise in aerodynamics.
Working with Jaguar to develop a unique ski suit and harness containing twin micro jets, Graham hopes to reach speeds of over 160mph – setting a new World Record. He has already begun training for the record by ski-joring behind a Jaguar XE AWD at over 100mph in the Austrian Alps.
Graham Bell, said “I approached Jaguar to become my lead technical partner due to their experience in aerodynamics and love of all things involving speed. As lead technical partner in the attempt, Jaguar will provide the aerodynamic expertise to develop the Iron-Man-style suit I need, as well as helping me acclimatize to speed and external forces using high performance vehicles including the Jaguar XE AWD – designed to provide maximum traction in adverse conditions including snow and ice.”
Ian Anderton, thermal and aerodynamics manager, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “As engineering challenges go it doesn’t get more unique than this, so the next few months are going to be very exciting.
“We kick-started the technical partnership by ski-joring with a Jaguar XE AWD to determine what factors should to be taken into consideration when designing his suit, such as wind, skiing position and chill – especially in minus conditions.
“In many ways, it’s very similar to the car design process, necessitating the perfect balance between aerodynamics, engineering and design for ultimate performance.”
The Jaguar XE has been optimised for ultimate aerodynamic efficiency and stability. It is the the only car in its class to use an aluminium-intensive body structure, making it the lightest, stiffest and most aerodynamic Jaguar yet. The XE AWD enhances vehicle dynamics and provides greater traction in intense weather conditions, making it a true all-weather sports saloon.
The record attempt will take place at Jaguar’s cold weather testing facility in Sweden in early 2017. Although there is no comparable record, the current World Downhill Speed Skiing World Record is currently held by Simone Oregone at 156mph.