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Toyota Motorsport lends its wind tunnel to help break a world record

The record doesn't have anything to do with cars, but it's still cool -- literally.

Snowspeed Sled at Toyota Motorsport GmbH
Snowspeed's target speed is 155 mph, the same speed as the limit electronically set by many different automakers.
Toyota UK

When the snow gets bad enough outside, you might wish you'd replaced your vehicle with a sled of some sort. Toyota Motorsports is doing that -- sort of. It's loaned out its wind tunnel to a team attempting to break the world record in a gravity-powered sled.

This sled -- referred to as a "sledge," a word not commonly used in American English -- is looking to break the current world record of 83.4 mph. In fact, the group behind this attempt, Snowspeed, hopes to nearly double that speed. And it's relying on the wind tunnel to help give it every advantage possible.

Snowspeed's ride is expected to be about 13 feet long, when all is said and done -- the sled being tested in the wind tunnel is a 1:2-scale model. It'll pack three skis, two up front and one out back. The design is inspired by Formula 1 and Le Mans cars, which also require serious aerodynamics to eke out victories.

You can read an in-depth look at the team and its wind-tunnel work over at BBC News.