Ford Investing $200 Million in New Wind Tunnel Complex in Michigan
Ford has announced its next endeavor aimed at increasing the performance and fuel economy of its future vehicles: a $200 million investment in a new wind tunnel complex that will improve both its racing and production vehicles.
The complex will cover 13 acres in Allen Park adjacent to Ford’s Driveability Test Facility. Construction on the complex will get underway next year; the facility is set to house a next-gen rolling road wind tunnel and climate chamber, which will respectively allow Ford to test its vehicles’ resistance to airflow of up 200 mph and temperatures ranging between minus 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
“This investment in new world-class test facilities underpins Ford’s ongoing commitment to advance our capabilities to continue to provide our customers with high-quality vehicles,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, global product development and chief technical officer.
The new wind tunnel complex will utilize a five-belt conveyor system that will allow Ford to test new vehicles in controlled situations that accurately represent real-word conditions. The system will see one belt fixed to each wheel with the fifth running beneath the vehicle and allowing for up to 155 mph of airflow around the vehicle. The single-belt testing method will allow for speeds of up to 200 mph, making it ideal for performance vehicle testing.
“This new wind tunnel facility will not only allow us to test our performance and racing vehicle line-up but will also enable us to share innovations across all our global Ford products,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director.