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Nissan builds the world's first seven-seater bobsleigh

29 January 2016

Nissan has challenged convention with the launch in Innsbruck, Austria of the world’s first seven-seater, X-Trail-inspired bobsleigh.

The Nissan X-Trail Bobsleigh alongside the vehicle that inspired it

The X-Trail Bobsleigh was inspired by the design of the Nissan X-Trail and undertook its inaugural run at the historic Olympic track in Igls, piloted by British Olympic medallist Sean Olsson.

Nissan worked with bobsleigh experts to transform a traditional four-man sled into an X-Trail inspired seven-seater capable of reaching speeds of over 60mph and pulling 4.5g.

The bobsleigh mimics the Nissan X-Trail’s design, with distinctive front aspect, headlamps and seven-seater option. It gives passengers a 360-degree, bird’s-eye view to capture all of the action - identical to the Nissan X-Trail’s 'Around View Monitor' system.

Nissan Design Europe design manager, Daryl Scriven, teamed up with expert bobsled manufacturer Diego Menardi and sport expert Ian Richardson to morph car design with Olympic aerodynamics. Ian Richardson and Diego Menardi have over 50 years of combined experience in the industry, delivering Olympic track experiences and sleighs to winning teams across the globe.

“We wanted to give the opportunity to experience first-hand the adventurous nature of our crossover segment through the thrill and excitement of Olympic bobsleighing," says Scriven. "Nissan Design Europe took inspiration from the shape and character of our X-Trail to create the X-Trail Bobsleigh, which was handcrafted by Diego Menardi at his workshop in Cortina. The outcome mimics the fresh ideas and technologies from the brand's ground-breaking crossover models.”

The seven-seater was developed using a combination of sketches and computer-aided design, and the detail on the bobsleigh nose was crafted to express the X-Trail’s V-motion grille and capture the sculpture of the hood character lines. This work was complemented by Diego Menardi’s structural lengthening of the cabin to accommodate seven passengers.

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