FCA US invests $2.5m for rain and snow testing at technology center
Automobile major Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has pumped in $2.5m to enhance its existing climatic test cell for rain and snow testing at Chrysler Technology Center (CTC) at its US headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
Its new 4x4 dynamometer (dyno) at CTC could be brought to a temperature 40 below zero, creating wind speeds up to 100 mph.
A blizzard-like condition is created with a view to evaluating the performance of a vehicle when dense snow comes in way of air intakes.
The extreme climate test has been stated to be one of thousands performed daily at the unit developed over 5.4 million ft2 with wind generation capacity of 160 mph.
The new front dyno in the drive cell is capable of handling loads of up to 350 horsepower with a rear dyno operating up to 650 horsepower. The ductwork and exhaust capabilities have also been upgraded to apply the system for high-output engines such as the 2016 Ram 2500's 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel with a segment-topping 900 lb.-ft. of torque.
FCA-North America product development vice-president John Nigro said: "With more 4x4 and all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicles in our fleet than ever, this investment will go a long way to providing the durable cars and trucks our customers expect from us."
"Our world-class environmental test center provides dynamic and static testing conditions to simulate the climatic environments that are experienced by our customers around the world.
"With more 4x4 and all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicles in our fleet than ever, this investment will go a long way to providing the durable cars and trucks our customers expect from us."
Besides, the climatic test units of the FCA can offer simulation for both frigid conditions in mid-winter and the extreme heat of the Gulf Coast countries. It helps FCA develop automotive products that can survive the harshest settings.
Image: A 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk undergoes snow-pack at Chrysler Technology Center (CTC). Photo: courtesy of FCA.