Ford to open state-of-the-art environmental test center

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The auto maker claims that this multi-million euro facility in Cologne, Germany, will be the most advanced of its kind.

It will cover an area of 5,500m2 and will house two climate wind tunnels; a high-altitude lab; and four temperature controlled test chambers, three of which will also facilitate humidity testing.

Engineers will be able to work on up to nine vehicles simultaneously, including front-wheel, rear‑wheel, and all-wheel drive vehicles, testing comfort, safety and operational capabilities in the most extreme conditions found worldwide.

Inside the facility altitudes of 5,200m, vehicle and wind speeds of up to 155mph, temperatures from -40ºC to +55ºC, humidities of 95%, as well as sun, rain and snow can be simulated.

“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,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, product development, Ford of Europe.

“This is a significant step forward that will enable Ford to efficiently simulate the most demanding environmental conditions around the globe under repeatable conditions.”

The facility is expected to be fully operational in late 2017.

December 1, 2016

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive, marine and entertainment divisions. Currently editor of Automotive Testing Technology International, Crash Test Technology International and Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as co-chairman of the annual Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards and can be found sniffing out stories throughout the halls of several of UKI's industry-leading expo events.

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