BMW and MINI are heavily involved with the 2012 London Olympics. They’re officially handling much of the transportation logistics for the games, and they even participated in the opening ceremonies. The BMW Group fleet involved in the games has been mostly electric, with MINI Es coming out of retirement, as well as BMW ActiveE vehicles taking people to and fro. Turns out, however, there’s one more flavor of electric MINI getting involved in the games, and it’s the most mini MINI yet: a 1/4 scale radio controlled MINI hatch.
While small for a car, at more than 43″, it’s pretty big for an R/C vehicle. Thing is, these little MINIs aren’t just buzzing around for laughs. They’ve got a job to do. These miniature MINIs are actually being utilized to haul track and field equipment around the Olympic facilities. With 10 hp onboard, these little MINIs will be able to haul the Olympic hammer, shot, discus and up to two javelin at a time. For reference, that’s about the power output of a 100cc motorcycle.
While it seems silly on the surface, this kind of equipment retrieval will actually save a lot of time and keep the games moving. Smaller items like the discus will travel inside the car, accessed through the simulated moon roof, while the javelins will ride on top in pairs.
No word yet on whether two of these cars will be able to coordinate and carry a vaulting pole.
BMW Group adds one more model to its electric vehicle line up for London 2012
BMW, Official Automotive Partner to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, is keeping the Games moving with a range of fully electric vehicles as part of the fleet. The 160 BMW ActiveE models and 40 MINI E’s are being used for many duties including shuttling athletes and officials within the Olympic Park and surrounding Games sites. They also helped support elements of the Olympic Torch Relay convoy on its journey around the UK and will do so similarly for the Paralympic Torch Relay.
Today, BMW is proud to introduce another critical electric vehicle to the Olympic and Paralympic fleet: the Mini MINI. This specially developed and designed radio controlled electric car will be used on the field of play in the Olympic Stadium to ferry javelins, discuses, hammers and shots back from the field to the throwing area, saving valuable time during competition.
Three Mini MINIs will be deployed for this crucial task and will be operated by Games Makers assigned and trained for this duty. The cars are roughly a quarter scale of the full-sized car and carry the athletic equipment situated inside, accessible through the adapted sunroof. The Mini MINIs are all blue and feature the same Games livery as the ‘full-size’ official fleet vehicles.
“The MINI team was thrilled to be given this challenge to develop a vehicle with such an important and high profile role during the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” commented Dr Juergen Hedrich, Managing Director of MINI Plant Oxford. “I know that everybody was inspired by the challenge and the knowledge that these models will be seen in action by millions of people around the world.”
The cars were designed and built to a specification agreed with LOCOG to ensure their role on the field of play is successful in saving time during competition. Each of the three Mini MINIs will cover around 6,000 metres per day in four-hour shifts across nine days of Olympic and nine days of Paralympic competition. The Mini MINIs will:
Carry a load of up to 8kg; a single hammer, discus or shot or two javelins.
Be operated with a simple control system requiring minimum technical support.
Be powered by batteries that can sustain 35 minutes of continuous usage with a radio control range of approximately 100 metres and be fully re-charged in 80 minutes.
After the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games, the three Mini MINIs will return to base for well-earned rest and relaxation before their next athletic adventure.
Snap shot of Electric Vehicles in the London 2012 Games fleet:
- Number in fleet: 160
- 170hp / Zero tailpipe emissions
- Usage includes: Games time talent shuttle transporting athletes within the Olympic Park and also available for use by broadcasters. Venue pool cars for operational usage and supporting the Olympic Torch Relay.
- Showcase for new charging infrastructure in London; 120 new ‘high speed’ charge points installed in five key locations in London with the first being installed at ExCeL London.
- Number in fleet: 40
- 204hp / Zero tailpipe emissions
- Usage includes: Venue pool cars for operational usage and supporting the Olympic Torch Relay.
- Number in fleet: 3
- 10hp / Zero emissions
- Usage: Field of play vehicle to retrieve javelins, discuses, hammers and shot from the field to the throwing area.
- MINI Hatch design in 1/4 scale
- Lightweight composite bodyshell (Vehicle weight 25kg)
- True Blue paintwork with orange London 2012 Games livery and white roof
- Detailed exterior design including door handles, mirrors, wheel arch finishers, number plates, windscreen wipers and functioning headlights
- Removable sunroof panel for access to the equipment storage area
- Waterproof equipment storage area
- Electric engine, throttled
- Duel vented disc brake
- Heavy duty shock absorbers
- Grass tyres front and rear
- Mini MINI dimensions:
- Length: 1100mm (43.3 in)
- Width: 500mm (19.7 in)
- Height: 400mm (15.7 in)