VW Inaugurates Wind Tunnel To Make Its 50+ New Cars Sleeker
10 November 2017 - motor1
Wind speeds of up to 155 mph (250 kph) can be replicated.
Volkswagen has announced plans to renew its entire lineup by the end of the decade and says that it's simultaneously working on more than 50 new cars. To speed up development, the company has invested approximately €100 million ($115M) in a new Wind Tunnel Efficiency Center based at home in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Featuring a floor area of 8,800 square meters (94,722 square feet), the new facility will allow VW to determine the aerodynamic drag value of a car in only 20 minutes whereas using computer calculation it would take a few days. Inside the tunnel, wind speeds of up to 155 mph (250 kph) can be replicated in order to simulate the harshest traffic conditions of the real world and VW can dial the temperature between -30°C and +60°C.
Not only that, but the Wind Tunnel Efficiency Center has been developed to simulate snow, rain, and also to alter the humidity level that can reach up to 90 percent. VW is proud to say it has possibly one of the quietest wind tunnels in the business as at 100 mph (160 kph), the tunnel generates a sound pressure of 65 decibels, which is roughly the same as a TV set at a reasonable volume. It's quite impressive when you take into account that huge fan has a diameter of eight meters (26.2 feet).
In the works since June 2014, this new center will allow VW to develop sleeker cars that will have more aerodynamic bodies with lower drag coefficients, which in turn will have a positive impact on fuel consumption and consequently on emissions. Needless to say, EVs will also take advantage of the wind tunnel as the body's aero tweaks will boost range.