JCB Moving Fast

Posted on April 20, 2006

Only a little more than five years after beginning its own diesel engine development, JCB is planning an assault on the world land speed record for diesel cars. The company has taken the wraps off the JCB DieselMax vehicle, which is nine 29.5 ft. long, weighs 5952 lb. and is powered by two JCB444 diesel engines, the same engines used in the company’s backhoe loaders.

The four-cylinder, 4.4 L engines are modified with two-stage turbocharging and are rated 750 hp. They drive separate six-speed transmissions. In their normal iterations, the engines have ratings of 74 and 84 hp naturally aspirated up to 100 bhp turbocharged and 125 bhp charge-air cooled and turbocharged.

“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, JCB chairman. “The search for the next innovative step is the cornerstone of our business along with a strong sense of adventure.”

The company hopes to smash the current record of 235.756 mph record by breaking the 300 mph barrier at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in August. The car will be driven by RAF pilot Andy Green, who set the first-ever supersonic world land speed record at 763.035 mph in ThrustSSC on the Black Rock Desert in 1997. The speed record for diesel is currently held by Virgil W. Snyder, who set the record of 235.756 mph in the Thermo King Streamliner at Bonneville in August of 1973.

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