Ford to test vehicles in Alpine conditions

Centre simulates altitude of 5,200 metres

Ford is to put its vehicles through the most extreme conditions with its new test facility.

The environmental test centre will be the first of its kind capable of simulating altitude of 5,200 metres – higher than the tallest Alpine peak, Mont Blanc – as well as snow, rain or sunlight conditions and wind speeds of up to 250km/h.

The multi-million euro-costing facility in Cologne can vary temperatures between -40°C and +55°C and offer up to 95% humidity.

Joe Bakaj, vice-president of product development at Ford of Europe, said: “With industry-first features, like the high altitude testing and the ability to simulate heavy snow, this new test facility offers a toolkit that will help us to continue to develop future best-in-class vehicles. This is a significant step forward that will enable Ford to efficiently simulate the most demanding environmental conditions around the globe under repeatable conditions.”

Covering an area of 5,500 square metres, includes two climate wind tunnels, a high altitude laboratory and four temperature controlled test chambers and will be used to test all front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles – in addition to the 5.5 million kilometres of real-world durability testing carried out by the OEM on its line up.

tags: Ford weather Testing