JCB Dieselmax

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JCB Dieselmax
JCB Dieselmax.jpg
Body and chassis
ClassLand speed record vehicle (diesel)
Body styleLong
LayoutDual-engine, 4-wheel drive
PlatformHybrid square steel tube spaceframe with bonded carbon composite panels
EngineTwo JCB444 common rail injection diesel engines with twin compound turbochargers and intercoolers
TransmissionForward transmission and final drive connected to forward engine; rear transmission and final drive unit connected to rear engine
Wheelbase5.9 m
Length9.1 m
Width1.15 m
Height0.98 m to canopy; 1.34 m to fin tip
Curb weight2.7 tonnes
JCB Dieselmax on display at the British International Motor Show

The JCB Dieselmax is a diesel-engined 'streamliner' car designed for the purpose of breaking the land speed record for a diesel-engined vehicle.

The car was built for JCB, a British multinational equipment company. As of 2018, the car holds the world diesel-powered land speed record, having been driven to over 350 miles per hour (560 km/h) by Wing Commander Andy Green in 2006.[1]


The car is powered by two specially-tuned versions of the production JCB444[2] powerplant, developing up to 750 brake horsepower (560 kW) each (over five times the power output of the production version with 90 psi (6 bar) of boost) and featuring four cylinders and 5 litres of displacement, accompanied by two stage turbochargers, intercooler and aftercooler. One of the dual engines drives the front wheels while the other drives the rear.[2] Each engine is rev-limited to 3800 rpm.

As the size of the car prohibited meaningful wind tunnel testing, the streamlined shape of the car was refined entirely through the use of computational fluid dynamics by MIRA Ltd, which has enabled the car to obtain a very low coefficient of drag of only 0.147 and a CdA value (drag coefficient × frontal area) of only 0.129 m². The fuel tank, which holds only 9 litres (2.38 U.S. gallons),(1•98 Imperial gallons) is located directly behind the carbon fiber cockpit. The fully laden weight of the vehicle, including fuel, oil, ice, water coolant and the driver, is slightly less than 2,700 kg.

The chassis was designed and built by Coventry-based engineering company Visioneering for JCB, with engine development undertaken by Sussex-based Ricardo UK Ltd. The electrical system for the vehicle was supplied by R&D Vehicle Systems Ltd under contract to Visioneering. Ron Ayers led work on the aerodynamics, having previously worked on the ThrustSSC land speed record car.[3]

During the 2006 Bonneville Speed Week and subsequent FIA record runs, the car was driven by Andy Green, a serving RAF Officer who previously broke, and still holds, the absolute land speed record with ThrustSSC.


The car began shakedown testing on 20 July 2006 on the runway at RAF Wittering with the lower-power 600 brake horsepower (450 kW) version of the JCB444 engine, the team slowly ramping up the speed to prove the chassis and engines. They eventually achieved a speed of over 200 miles per hour (320 km/h) on 30 July 2006. Two days later, the car was disassembled ready to be flown to Wendover Airport, Utah, former home of the B-29 Enola Gay on 8 August. On 13 August 2006, after several days spent re-assembling and re-testing the car, the Dieselmax made its first official run on the Bonneville Salt Flats as part of Speed Week, eventually attaining an average speed of 317 miles per hour (510 km/h) to take the SCTA-BNI event record for an 'AA/DS' Diesel Streamliner.[4]

On 22 August 2006, after being re-fitted with 750 brake horsepower (560 kW) 'LSR' versions of the JCB444 engines,[2] the JCB Dieselmax car broke the official FIA diesel engine land speed record, attaining a speed of 328.767 mph (529 km/h). 24 hours later the JCB Dieselmax car broke its own record, achieving a speed of 350.092 mph (563.418 km/h) over a distance of 1 mile on 23 August 2006.[2][5] Before attaining these speeds, the Dieselmax was pushed from behind, by a JCB Fastrac, until it hit 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) where it engaged first gear.[2] Before the JCB Dieselmax records, the diesel land speed record was 235.756 mph (380 km/h), set by American Virgil Snyder, in the Thermo King streamliner on 25 August 1973.[6]


In a live interview from Utah on BBC News, Green said that the car was not running at its full potential, due to problems finding suitable tyres and that this speed was achieved while the car was still in fifth gear (the car has six).[7] He also reported that the vehicle traveled 11 miles (18 km) on about a U.S. gallon (3.8 L) of fuel. The fuel tank holds just 9 L while the ice tank, used for cooling, holds 180 L.

In 2016 a ten-year anniversary celebration was held, where Lord Bamford expressed regret that the record had not been beaten and indicated that a fresh attempt could be made if the JCB record was broken.[8][9] Although JCB have not made any official statements on the subject of a return to Bonneville, JCB Group Engineering Director Tim Leverton has hinted that they are currently[when?] studying the development of tires that would allow them to overcome the nominal 350 miles per hour (560 km/h) 'safety limit' they had placed upon their current Goodyear units.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "JCB Dieselmax: world's fastest diesel". Autocar. Haymarket Media Group. 22 August 2006. Archived from the original on 17 May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Masamitsu, Emily, "Diesel Refined", Populember 2006: 23, ISSN 0032-4558
  3. ^ Pat Malone (29 January 2018). "Me and My Motor: Ron Ayers, the supersonic car designer behind Bloodhound SSC". Sunday Time Driving Limited. Archived from the original on 17 May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  4. ^ Stuart Waterman (19 August 2006). "JCB Dieselmax sets new diesel Bonneville speed record". Autoblog. Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  5. ^ "JCB car breaks own speed record", BBC News, 23 August 2006, retrieved 16 October 2013
  6. ^ Shelley, Tom (20 June 2006), "Diesel goes for record", Eureka, retrieved 16 October 2013
  7. ^ David Tremayne (September 2007). "JCB Dieselmax – powering the World's Fastest Diesel Vehicle". Ingenia. Royal Academy of Engineering. Archived from the original on 17 May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  8. ^ "JCB hint at new diesel land speed record bid". The QMJ Group Ltd. 26 August 2016. Archived from the original on 17 May 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  9. ^ Lee Stern (26 August 2016). "JCB Dieselmax team celebrates ten-year anniversary". Dennis Publishing Limited. Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2018.

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