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Jaguar lends expertise to record-shattering speed expedition

June 16, 2015

Bloodhound SSC Bloodhound SSC


British automaker Jaguar Land Rover is part of a team trying to beat the current land speed record of 763mph, showing off its ingenuity in the process.

The automaker most recently tested a critical parachute deployment function with its F-Type R Coupé before affirming its use for the supersonic Bloodhound SSC vehicle. While speed is the ostensible goal of the mission, stopping afterwards will be just as vital.

"The Bloodhound Project is bold, inspirational and an amazing showcase for cutting edge engineering," said Peter French, chief engineer for Powertrain systems, Jaguar Land Rover, London.

"Andy [the driver] did an excellent job behind the wheel of the F-type and we look forward to continuing to support him and the team on the ground when the Bloodhound SSC car rolls out for its first test," he said.

Going further

The Bloundhound SSC aims to surpass 1,000 miles per hour, leaping far beyond the current record. In fact, the team is trying to achieve a mile in under 3.6 seconds.

A slew of sponsors are aligned with the mission, but Jaguar has a distinguished position, providing the Bloodhound's 5.0-litre 550PS supercharged V8 engine to power the rocket's oxidiser pump. Jet engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce will provide the vehicle's main engine.

Bloodhound SSC vehicle

Bloodhound SSC

The automaker is also involved in the testing phases leading up to execution.

As expected, stopping a vehicle going 1,000 mph is no easy feat. The bloodhound has multiple braking systems to ensure that it slows down before the end of the 12-mile track in Hakseen Pan, South Africa.

Most people are familiar with slowing down over the course of a few hundred meters when approaching a stop light, for instance, but the Bloodhound will have more than 10 miles of space.

At the front of this braking system are air-brakes mounted on the side of the car that open up like wings to increase aerodynamic drag. Next, disc brakes slow the car down from 200 mph, and finally two parachutes aim to halt the 135, 000 thrust horsepower.

Jaguar F-Type Coupe

Jaguar F-Type Coupé

Once the car stops, it has to be rapidly positioned to travel in the opposite direction, a transition that is key to achieving the record.

Jaguar worked with the current land speed record holder RAF Wing Commander Andy Green, who will also be driving the Bloodhound, to test one of the parachutes with an F-Type R Coupé after hitting 180 mph.

The parachute exerted more than 2,200 pounds on the vehicle. The fact that Jaguar was able to approximate conditions with one of its primary vehicles validates the car's capabilities.

The Bloodhound SSC will officially attempt to break the record in November.

Breaking records

Jaguar Land Rover is no stranger to record-breaking endeavors.

For instance, following the completion of The Scott Expedition, Land Rover continues to demonstrate its ability to find brand-appropriate ambassadors.

British explorers Ben Saunders and Tarka L’Herpiniere trekked 1,795 miles over 105 days in Antarctica to achieve the longest man-haul polar expedition in history. Unlike many brand ambassadors, Mr. Saunders has truly embodied the values that Land Rover has tried to exude since his invitation in 2008 (see story).

Jaguar Land Rover may also shed light on ramped-up efforts to bring its manufacturing in-house through this project.

Jaguar is investing about $890.5 million in the West Midlands region of the United Kingdom for research and development and vehicle manufacturing.

The largest portion is going towards Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich plant, with about $594 million earmarked to help prepare the facilities to be able to produce the brand’s XF. Through a renewed emphasis on British production, Jaguar helps to support its home country, as well as reinforce its heritage (see story).

"The 5.0-litre 550PS supercharged V8 engine featured in the Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupé will drive Bloodhound SSC’s rocket oxidiser pump – a very exciting proposition for us here at Jaguar as we continue to support this world record attempt," Mr. French said.

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, staff reporter on Luxury Daily, New York