Volkswagen has launched a new wind tunnel capable of simulating ‘real-world’ driving conditions in wind speeds of up to 155mph and within a 90-degrees Celsius temperature range.
The main purpose of the investment is to reduce the costs of its on-location activities in super-hot and sub-zero locations around the world, and of course to increase efficiency for all of its cars.
The new €100 million facility at Wolfsburg has been built to let VW make its cars as slippery as possible through the air. Each of the car’s wheels gets its own rolling belt, which VW says can let the engineers simulate turning motions more realistically than before., making sure nothing weird happens to the air flow in the process.
Cleverly, the tunnel will be able to simulate not just wind, but rain, humidity, snow and strong sunlight between -30 and +60 degrees Celsius. It’s also about six times faster to set up than the previous system, taking just five minutes. A full drag coefficient test takes only 20 minutes.