Porsche Design composite bobsled – Click above for high-res image gallery
hasn't been a name commonly associated with snow. That was before the German automaker got into the SUV game, though, and maybe just as important for the impending winter season, the downhill sled market, too.
A couple of years ago, Porsche Design
slid out its award-winning aluminum sled
for kids, and has now followed up with an advanced composite bobsled. The design takes its cues from parabolic skis, with a slight bend in the runners for better steerability. Porsche Design also toiled over the optimal camber angle, kept the weight down to just 8.8 lbs, and got it certified to TÜV safety standards – all that for around $225 (hey, we never said Porsche ever did anything on the cheap). Follow the jump
for the full press release and the images in the gallery below for a closer look.
[Source: Porsche Design]
Downhill through the snow – with Porsche
Outstanding Products for wintertime
Stuttgart. In snow, Porsche shows maximum directional stability. To mark the winter season Porsche presents its plastic bobsleigh, which in 2010 was awarded the "red dot" for high design quality. This internationally recognized distinction is awarded annually by an international jury of renowned design experts.
The inspiration for the first Porsche bobsleigh was drawn from the racing bobsleigh. Thus its runners are based on the engineering of these professional sports devices and are almost as effective. Both have a so-called 'spring' in the runners, that give the bobsleigh its excellent steerability. This slight lengthways bend is scarcely visible, yet it certainly makes itself felt during the descent. It can be compared to the side cut of modern carving skis.
Another engineering highlight is the camber angle. In motorsport this chassis adjustment often makes the difference between victory and defeat. On the slope it makes for pure fun. The Porsche bobsleigh does not have ground contact across the full breadth but only at the edges of the runners. The result is maximum directional stability which, combined with the low center of gravity, gives excellent grip and outstanding maneuverability.
The plastic bobsleigh can be steered simply and individually using the four side grips. In sporting situations the bobsleigh's perfect balance means that it can be piloted simply by shifting ones weight on the ergonomically formed seat and by appropriate leg movement. By using the middle grip at the head end, braking can be precisely controlled, with fast response.
Tested and certified by German safety standards agency (TÜV) the Porsche bobsleigh weighs only approximately four kilograms. It is stowed in a practical nylon bag.
Winter will also be spectacular with the Porsche Aluminium sledge. Dashing down the slopes on the stainless steel runners and comfortable faux leather seat, winter can be enjoyed at full speed. After fun in the snow, the practical folding mechanism allows the sledge to be folded together and stowed in a high-quality bag for safe carrying.
Lifestyle articles from the Porsche Design Driver's Selection are available in Porsche Centers throughout the world and – except for the watches – on the Internet at www.porsche.com/shop. Not all products are available worldwide.