DIESELMAX has broken the land speed record a few days ago…


19 August 2006


Having already achieved a recorded average speed over a measured mile of 308mph in the late afternoon of Thursday 17 August, the JCB DIESELMAX needed to complete a second run within 24 hours at least matching this speed in order to take the record. Watch here as the JCB DIESELMAX powers its way to an impressive 317mph.....


Aquamist are very honoured to be involved in JCB Diesel Max's landspeed record attempt in Bonnville Salt Flat in August this year with a purpose built chassis, powered by two 750BHP JCB444 diesel engines. Although our contribution plays a very small part in this giant project but nevertheless quite an effective one. The specially designed water injection system from aquamist is employed to maintain the in-cylinder temperature for these engines, producing over 150bhp/litre!
Ricardo/JCB engineers have managed to transformed their standard production diesel engine into a "state of art" powerplant to fuel this land speed record attempt. The team, led by Dr Tim Leverton, JCB's Group Engineering director and including current fastest man on earth Andy Green, is aiming for 300mph. This is some way off the 736.035mph achieved by Green in ThrustSSC in 1997, but would smash the current record (235.756mph) set for diesel-powered vehicles back in 1973

Richard Lamb reporting, UK. June 2006


Having little or no frontal air scoop, how do you cool a pair of 750BHP engines?

Simple answer, you can’t. Here is how it can be done. Ricardo Engineering company in Sussex, England was asked by JCB to take on this challenge and complete the task from scratch and in 12 months. Tall order? May be…

The run entire event takes about 95 seconds, covering three miles on the salt surface, the third mile is the time run where the average top speed is recorded.

Three major source of heat has to be contained. The Exhaust pipes are thermally rapped and insulated. Engine coolant is cooled by and giant iced filled tank on board. Lastly, inlet air is cooled by two water to air charge-coolers, helping to cool the pressurized air from a pair of turbochargers pushing out in excess of 80psi absolute.

Aquamist has been involved right at the beginning…

of this unique project when the proposed cooling methods were being seriously challenged. At 550BHP, the EGT was already at a dangerous level. A 750BHP target from each engine has to be achieved in order to power the car beyond 300mph. Bearing in mind the car has to be accelerated to by rubber tires to 300mph, unlike a jet propelled machine. Each second from rest demands power from the engine. We received a call from Ricardo to supply a pair of water injection system capable of removing around 120kW of heat energy. By September last year, aquamist has designed and provided a special system for this project, Within two months of dyno and mapping, the power has finally reached 750BHP with EGT lower than the 550BHP level. As seen in the picture on the left, four 1mm jets were used delivering no less than 1.3litre of water per minute against a manifold pressure of 65psi. (gage). Aquamist has the unique task of cooling the intake, combustion and exhaust cycle all by itself without any fuss or drama. This diesel engine is fully managed by a special Engine management System. A separate PWM channel for the Aquamist’s High Speed Valve controlling the water flow.

Apart from a few minor incidents such as the intercooler core gave way under high pressure-ratios. Drive shaft fracturing happened twice. The entire power train project was expertly managed by Ricardo and the final results were fully justified and well deserved.

Things were moving on pretty quickly after that. Chassis was being finished and engine was moved from the dyno room to the constructors, rapped in cotton wool.

Judgement days were moving closer and more components were being assembled into the machine.

Few images of the dash and the water injection toggle switches on the left of the cluster. The rest of the remaining components were put together carefully.



27 July 2006: RAF WITTERING, England- Testing

JCB DIESELMAX testing takes place on the runway used for Harrier fighter training so we have subsequently moved the timing of testing runs to early evening. The advantage is that it is cooler for the car and the team.

In light of engine troubles yesterday it was decided that the JCB DIESELMAX would not run today. This provided the team with valuable time to do other work on the car, which they need to complete before packing up and flying to the USA

Final check on the machine was performed well into the night when one engine developed a misfire. By morning, all problem were ironed out and the challenge was on…


18th August 2005 – at Bonneville Salt flats… represent one of the most unusual places on earth, and one of the few where man can achieve unlimited speed. JCB’s Diesel max has arrived.

Today was a landmark day for the JCB DIESELMAX project as the streamliner was run on the Salt Flats for the first time, less than a year since the project got underway in earnest. No longer rookies the JCB joined the queue to run today soon after 08.00 but it was three hours before the car reached the head of the line of cars and its second run on the salt.

At 16.52 Run 48 JCB DIESELMAX hits 308mph! This is the first time we have run the car completely "hooked up" both engines working together at full boost and delivering 600bhp each.

The JCB DIESELMAX hit 325mph to achieve a new diesel record of 317.021mph and became the fastest-ever diesel-powered car over the Bonneville course. The team’s confidence is high as the work begins to install the 750bhp ‘record attempt’ engines in readiness for setting an official FIA record for diesel-powered cars on the Salt Flats next week.

22 August 2006 WORLD'S FASTEST DIESEL - Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah Time: 15:55 (US)

Today the JCB DIESELMAX became the ‘world’s fastest diesel’ , a fantastic and emotional day the team! The FIA timed the car at an average speed of 328.767mph subject to FIA ratification, breaking the old record of 235mph.

No matter, the record was in the bag, broken by almost 100mph. Time for a mass of media photographs and interviews before the team wheeled the car away.

Tomorrow the car will be in action again on the Salt Flats, aiming to raise the bar further! This evening there is more work to do with the aim of improving the cooling system.

Follow up more for update (more speed attempts): http://www.jcbdieselmax.com/html/home.php 22nd August 2006

This article is subject to copyright control ... 23rd August 2006