Ford is set to open a state-of-the-art testing facility in Germany that can simulate some of the world’s most extreme weather conditions.
With heating and cooling systems that can subject cars to temperatures between -40deg C and +55deg C, as well as systems that can simulate heavy snowfall and strong winds, the Cologne facility will be able replicate the conditions almost anywhere on the planet.
One section of the building, shown in the video, can simulate the air pressure at the world's highest altitudes, and the site can also create 95% humidity.
Ford said one of the biggest benefits of its testing facility is a significant reduction in travel to far-reaching parts of the world. It can also test new models in all climates in a significantly shorter timeframe than before.
“With industry-first features, like the high altitude testing and the ability to simulate heavy snow, this new test facility offers a toolkit that will help us to continue to develop future best-in-class vehicles,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president of product development at Ford of Europe.
“This is a significant step forward that will enable Ford to efficiently simulate the most demanding environments around the globe under repeatable conditions.”
The facility, which is on course to open in April 2017, will join Ford’s existing test facilities located around the world. These include the Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium, natural sites such as the US's Mojave Desert, which is used for hot weather testing, and sites inside the Arctic Circle, where cold weather evaluation takes place.