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BMW Racing Wheelchair Rio 2016

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You would think that BMW would throw all of its support behind the German Olympic team, but it seems as if Team USA has maintained the favor of the German automaker for another Olympiad. This week, the world celebrated 100 days until the Olympic Games officially starts in Rio this summer, and BMW unveiled its latest development to commemorate the occasion.

In its role as the Official Mobility Partner of the United States Olympic Committee, BMW took on the task of redesigning the racing wheelchair to be used by Team USA athletes in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. The automaker worked with athletes and coaches to determine what features are most essential to a racing wheelchair, and the best engineers and designers went to work to create the tool that would meet their needs.

Of course, BMW added its own touches to the wheelchair, hoping that its design would simply look like a new extension of the existing BMW lineup. Its aerodynamic shape, new chassis, and carbon fiber make it look like something uniquely BMW. Each wheelchair will be fit to the athlete that will be using it, and in the months leading to the Paralympic Games will be full of testing to make sure the wheelchairs are truly ready for the world stage.

“Working on this project has been a truly rewarding experience for my team and we’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in the last year and half with these athletes and their coaches,” said Brad Cracchiola, Associate Director, BMW Group DesignWorks. “From fittings and immersion sessions, to data analysis and real-time testing, we had the unique opportunity to build a fully customized racing device. We’re eager to complete the final product and look forward to watching Team USA compete.”