JCB DieselMax 350mph Record

R&D Vehicle Systems (RDVS) played a vital technical role in the land speed record breaking JCB DIESELMAX car which is now the world’s fastest diesel-powered car.

Driven by Wing Commander Andy Green the JCB streamliner set a new FIA land speed record for diesel-powered cars of 350.092mph at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah on 23 August 2006.

The Banbury-based company created the bespoke electrical system for the technically complex machine which was powered by two 750 bhp JCB444 diesel engines.

“This was our most technically challenging task to date,” said RDVS director Rob Millar. “RDVS designed and installed the electrical system that had to operate in a hostile environment while controlling the diesel engines and their transmissions, the myriad support systems and the unique lithium ion batteries.”

These high-tech batteries gave a crucial weight saving of 50 kg per unit so raising the car’s performance.

“The outstanding reliability of the electrical system was vital to the project because the car’s record breaking performance had to be developed on the Salt Flats in less than two weeks,” said Project Director Dr Tim Leverton, “RDVS played a crucial technical role in our success”.

RDVS was established in 2004 by former TWR employees Millar, Dave Rothera, Pete Baker and Adrian Bell, and specialises in creating bespoke vehicle electrical systems, from concept to realisation.