Within a Ford testing facility in Allen Park, Michigan, the automaker has a not-so-secret weapon to lend an edge with regard to winter-readiness testing: the Ford Climatic Wind Tunnel.
The Climatic Wind Tunnel allows Ford to test its vehicles – and those from rival automakers – for winter-readiness year-round. In fact, the facility can create a range of temperatures from 130o Fahrenheit, all the way down to -40o. Wind speeds within the tunnel can reach up to 125 mph.
To prepare a car for winter, Ford’s Climatic Wind Tunnel is capable of blowing snow directly at the front of a vehicle, allowing engineers to watch the engine’s air intake for signs of obstruction, to monitor shift linkages and the like for signs of freezing, and to get a sense of where snow tends to accumulate on the vehicle at speed. In addition to a four-hour stint in the Climatic Wind Tunnel, each Ford vehicle also undergoes real-world winter driving testing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Check out the video from Ford above to get a sense of some of what goes on inside the automaker’s Climatic Wind Tunnel.