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Engineering down under

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Take a tour of the Australian Automotive Research Centre in Melbourne, which covers a 1,000ha area, and encompasses a raft of test roads and surfaces – including a 4.2km hot mixed surface road

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Creating the GM Electrovan

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Floyd Wyczalek, project manager for the GM Electrovan, recalls his work on the world's first fuel cell vehicle in 1966, and takes a retrospective look at the development of fuel cell technology since.

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From a testing perspective, who stands to benefit most from PSA's acquisition of Opel?

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Audi has conducted its 100th INKA test – on an Audi A4

This corrosion and aging test is one of the toughest assessments a car has to go through at Audi. Performed at the company’s global headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, it simulates the challenges of 12 years of a car’s lifetime in a span of just 19 weeks. The quality assurance team uses this method to verify effective corrosion protection and durability.

In the course of performing 100 INKA tests, Audi quality assurance has completed 322,500 testing hours, covered more than one million kilometers and driven through 2,800 mud tests and 1,900 salt tests.

The endurance test covers five phases. First the car is misted with salt in a climatic chamber at 35°C. Next it is exposed to a tropical climate of up to 50°C and maximum air humidity of 100%. In phase three, 80 halogen metal vapor lamps, each with an output of 1,200W, heat the body to a maximum of 90°C. In the process, the colors in the interior must not fade and the materials must not become brittle.

The fourth phase simulates winter-like conditions at the polar circle. At minus 35°C, a four-post hydropulse machine rocks the car to simulate the body torsion and strain on parts of the vehicle and engine mounts that cars endure on rough roads. In parallel – phase five – test drivers repeatedly drive through specially prepared routes on the open testing grounds. A total of 12,000km are travelled with each model, including driving through saltwater and mud. At the end of the test, the quality inspectors dissect the entire car into around 600 individual parts and check these for weak points.

August 9, 2016


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