Flat out for a record

The JCB Dieselmax car, launched last week, will make a land-speed record attempt this summer in an attempt to earn the title of the world’s fastest diesel.

THE JCB Dieselmax car, launched last week, will make a land-speed record attempt this summer in an attempt to earn the title of the world’s fastest diesel.

The car is said to be twice as powerful and twice as fast as a Formula One car, yet weighs four times as much.

JCB expects the car to set a new record in excess of 300mph.

The current FIA mark stands at 235.756mph to Virgil W Snyder and the Thermo King Streamliner, a record that dates back to 25 August 1973.

The JCB Dieselmax streamliner will be driven by Wing Commander Andy Green, who set the first supersonic world-land speed record at 763.035mph in ThrustSSC on the BlackRockDesert on 15 October 1997.

The car has been designed by a team led by JCB Group Engineering Director Dr Tim Leverton.

Richard Noble, the former land-speed record holder, has acted as a consultant to the project and JCB has worked with consulting engineer Ricardo to develop the JCB444-LSR engine.

Codenamed project H1, JCB Dieselmax is nine metres long, weighs 2700 kg and is powered by two 750bhp two-stage turbocharged JCB444 diesel engines driving through separate six-speed transmissions.

The JCB444 is a four-cylinder in-line mid-range diesel with four valves per cylinder and a 1.1litre per cylinder design concept.

With a bore and stroke of 103 mm x 132 mm, it displaces 4400cc and comes in a range of performance classifications, ranging from 74 and 84bhp naturally aspirated up to 100bhp turbo-charged and 125bhp charge-cooled turbo-charged. Peak torque at only 1300 rpm is 320, 425, 525 and 620 Nm respectively.

The record attempt will take place on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in August, following preliminary trials at RAF Wittering, near Peterborough.

Sir Anthony Bamford, Chairman of JCB, commented: ‘I am passionate about the importance of engineering excellence to Britain and I see using the JCB engine for this record attempt as a fantastic way of showcasing what British engineers can do.’