Savannah, GA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–April 20, 2006–JCB, one of the world’s leading construction equipment manufacturers, will attempt to break the diesel vehicle speed record this summer in a purpose-built streamliner car. To reach speeds over 300 mph, JCB built the world’s most powerful automotive diesel engine at 150 bhp per liter, based on the same 4-cylinder, 4.4 liter (444) diesel engine the company uses in the world’s best-selling backhoe loader.
By earning the title of “World’s Fastest Diesel,” JCB will prove the strength, performance and versatility of the JCB444 diesel engine. The JCB DIESELMAX car is twice as powerful and twice as fast as a Formula 1 car.
The car will be driven by British Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green.
“It has always been our company tradition that the way to make progress is to push forward with a sense of urgency and to seek new challenges,” said Sir Anthony Bamford, Chairman, JCB. “The search for the next innovative step is the cornerstone of our business.”
At the heart of the world record attempt is the JCB444. Developed and manufactured by JCB specifically to run construction equipment for off-highway use, the engine was introduced after five years of development and a cost of $140 million.
“We began this project with one basic aim,” said Dr Tim Leverton, JCB Group Engineering Director. “Our intention is to prove the quality and performance of the JCB444 engine on the world stage. The knowledge we gain as a result of meeting this extreme engineering challenge will be applied to future iterations of the engine directly benefiting our customers.”
JCB DIESELMAX is more than 29 feet long, weighs nearly three tons and is powered by two 750 bhp two-stage turbocharged JCB444 diesel engines driving through separate six-speed transmissions. Initial vehicle testing will be conducted by Green at the Wittering Royal Air Force station, near Peterborough, England prior to the first salt testing at Bonneville during the annual Bonneville Speed Week, which runs August 12-18, 2006. The team will make its first attempt to set a new record, at speeds over 300 mph, the following week.
JCB is the fifth largest manufacturer of construction equipment worldwide. JCB began manufacturing operations at its North American headquarters, located outside of Savannah, Ga. in 2000. The 500,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility cost $62 million to build and is part of a $100 million investment by JCB to capture a significant share of the world’s largest construction and farm equipment market. In Savannah, JCB manufactures backhoe loaders, telescopic handlers and skid loaders, and 20 percent of the output is exported to South America. In 2001, production of backhoe loaders started in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
JCB was founded in October 1945 by Joseph Cyril Bamford and remains family-run and privately-owned. The company recently celebrated its 60-year anniversary and has annual sales that top $2.24 billion. The current Chairman is Sir Anthony Bamford, son of founder J.C. Bamford.
Photos will be available online at http://www.jcbdieselmax.com immediately following the press announcement on April 20, 2006 at 7:00 a.m. EST