Altitudes of up to 5,200 metres, vehicle and wind speeds of up to 155mph, snow, glaring sunlight, and rain are among the many conditions that Ford will simulate at their new state-of-the-art Environmental Test Centre in Cologne, Germany.
The multi-million euro facility will be the most advance facility of its kind, and the first to simulate altitudes of 5,200 metres. It will also have the capability to creates extremes in temperature from -40°C to +55°C (just 1.7°C below the highest air temperature every recorded on Earth), as well as 95% humidity.
Ford expect the centre will be fully operational later next year, and it will allow technicians to test 9 different vehicles simultaneously, testing comfort, safety, and operational capabilities including electrical performance, braking, air conditioning, and pulling heavy loads.
The facility will span over 5,500 square metres, include 3 climate wind tunnels, a high-altitude lab, and four temperature controlled test chambers. It will host the testing of Ford's expanded line up of performance cars, including the acclaimed Ford Focus RS, Ford Focus ST, and Ford Mustang in conditions of higher wind speeds.