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Nissan develops X-Trail bobsleigh

Nissan has drawn on the design and technology of its X-Trail SUV to transform a bobsleigh into a sleek seven-seater.

The inaugural run of the world’s first seven-seater bobsleigh was held at the historic Olympic track in Innsbruck, Austria - piloted by British Olympic medallist Sean Olsson.

Nissan worked with bobsleigh experts to transform a traditional four-man sled into the seven-seater, capable of reaching speeds of over 60mph pulling a G-force of 4.5G. The bobsleigh mimics the Nissan X-Trail’s design, with a ‘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 X-Trail’s Around View Monitor system.

Darryl Scriven, Design Manager Nissan Design Europe (NDE), teamed up with expert bobsled manufacturer Diego Menardi and sport expert Ian Richardson to morph car design with Olympic aerodynamics. Scriven said: “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.

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 sketches and computer-aided design (CAD). 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.