Friday, August 10, 2012 00:50
You’d think with the world’s finest athletes all gathered together in London to celebrate the pinnacle of human ability, someone would just walk out there and bring back the javelins, discuses (discii?), hammers, and shots the competitors fling downfield in their quest for gold. Instead, along with a fleet of 160 BMW ActiveE models and 40 MINI Es used to shuttle athletes and officials around, three radio-controlled Mini MINIs have been deployed to fetch throwable sports gear so officials don’t have to get up and, you know, do anything.
The quarter-scale MINIs have 10-horsepower motors, vented disc brakes, and beefed-up suspension to carry the heavy stuff. The sunroof opens up to reveal a waterproof storage area that also has holders for javelins. Each car is good for about 35 minutes of running on a charge, and each of the three Mini MINIs covers almost four miles per day in four-hour shifts across nine days of Olympic and nine days of Paralympic competition.
But maybe there’s a more subtle plan at work here. There are no motorsports at the Olympics, but as the youth of the world are seduced in ever greater numbers away from outdoor games and toward computer games, perhaps RC car racing is the Olympic sport of the future. If so, look for Team BMW to earn the first gold.