Team USA’s New Racing Wheelchair

Made with BMW, this new set of wheels will debut in Rio for the 2016 Paralympic Games

California’s BMW DesignWorks studio has designed an all-new aerodynamically efficient set of wheels, slated for release this September. It’s not the 750i sedan but a faster, better, stronger racing wheelchair for Team USA at the 2016 Paralympic Games. The standard aluminum has been replaced with carbon fiber, the chassis has been completely redesigned, and measurements and molds help create fully customized racing equipment—perhaps the closest the athletes have felt yet to being “one with the machine.” Even the gloves—which have to be made of hard material to repeatedly hit the wheels and absorb shock—have been rethought.

BMW 3D-scanned athletes’ custom-made racing gloves (top racers often use ones made from Aquaplast, a malleable plastic that turns rigid when cooled) to print out new, more lightweight pairs. Man vs Machine is a great short documentary on David Weir, produced by BMW UK, that highlights the synergetic relationship between the British Paralympic athlete and his wheelchair. The Paralympic Games will take place 7-18 September 2016, which marks its first time in South America.

Images courtesy of BMW of North America