No matter, whether in Aschheim, (D), Dudenhofen (D), Ehra-Lessien (D), Arjeplog (S) or Phoenix (USA) – on the test of international car manufacturers to sites you go to and fro like the secret service. And Deceive the most Important routes are camouflage on the closely guarded test. Access for journalists? Only exceptionally, and certainly without a camera. Finally, the camouflaged vehicle prototypes in the 24-hour test operation, to the exclusion of the Public in their laps.
Example of Hyundai The Koreans with their group brands, Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis will not only entertain you in a highly secured testing center in South Korea, Namyang, but with a view to the important US market, another at the foot of the Mojave desert, California. This opened in 2005, this site is approximately one and a half hours ‘ drive northeast of Los Angeles, with more than 1700 hectares huge. For comparison: The Area of the airport of Zurich-Kloten is only half the size. In addition to numerous On – and off-road trails can be found on the Hyundai site is a roughly ten-kilometre-long high-speed Oval, a four kilometre long Handling circuit, a mountain-and valley rides, as well as copies of the roadways and surfaces from around the world.
50 employees for 1700 hectare area
“Our test site in the United States ensures that we can continue to develop vehicles of the highest quality. Vehicles that appeal to both consumers in this market as well as worldwide,” says the second Hyundai-Chairman-Kim, the activities in America. But although far from any civilization description the Hyundai test area is gigantic, does not work on the California site in the normal case, more than 50 people.
Also, Nissan operates in the group with Renault, Infiniti and Mitsubishi a comparable test centre in the vicinity of Phoenix in the state of Arizona. While on the Handling track cloaked vehicles by the Japanese to their driving dynamic fine-tuning, from the coils on the Ten-Kilometer course time of two Harley motorcycles laps in the endurance run. Nissan rents its test center in the U.S. Töfffirma or the cooperation partner Daimler, the his Mercedes grill here in the bull-heat prototypes. The everyday life of test engineers is not always exciting or glamorous, is proof of those unfortunate technician with a prototype of the Nissan Pick-up for hours again and again, particularly high curbs, up and down moves, which were set up specifically for this chassis test.
Short ways save time and money
Speaking of Daimler: The Germans have only taken last year, a new Area in the black forest in operation. Once the German armed forces rehearsed in Immendingen, also of civilization, far away – the war-emergency. After the army vehicles disappeared, and the old-growth forests, as well as ammunition were cleaned up to Daimler built the Site with a great effort. The investment has paid off. For now the test engineers of Mercedes and Smart twelve months of the year, can perform a major part of their vehicle tests, only one and a half hours South of the Headquarters in Stuttgart and as a result, the expenses for travel and logistics to greatly reduce.
Winter testing on the frozen lakes
As the competition BMW operates several test center. While the California-based Oxnard cruises more of a Station for testing on public roads is, it’s not on safe grounds in Aschheim, near Munich or in the South of France Miramas quite different. There is a secret prototype to a strictly round-the-clock, seven-days-a-week – protected from the eyes and cameras of the Public. In addition, BMW operates for several years a winter test Site near Arjeplog in Northern Sweden, where, between December and February, almost all car manufacturers to their winter testing on snow and ice. In the Winter the frozen lakes are transformed to areas of to square miles big Test, especially for Tests of driving dynamics and assistance systems. At night, we go with wrapping foil out to the public Scandinavian roads, more kilometers of testing under our belt this weekend in the freezing cold. And because almost all of them do, multiplied so in the winter months, the number of inhabitants of the otherwise rather sleepy town.
Porsche remains in the home
Porsche is like the other brands of the Volkswagen group (Audi, Seat, Skoda and VW) on several of the group-test sites on the go. Prefer to test however, in the domestic realm, in Weissach, near Stuttgart (D). Because the vehicles can turn right next to the development center a few rounds of testing, before the individual components to be further experimented. That’s not enough, or the popular high-speed track in Nardo, southern Italy is not free, it is also time to Ehra-Lessien to the North of Hannover, where VW runs a giant test site.
200 million test kilometres in Dudenhofen
Opel meanwhile, the French PSA composite belonging – has been running since the ‘ 60s, a Central test centre in Dudenhofen (D) in the Metropolitan area of Rhine-Main. In this Area there are more than 70 kilometres of tracks, Skid Pads range, including high-speed, among other things, to Vote the driving assistant in the case of lateral acceleration, Airbag-laboratory and climate chamber. Over more than five decades of all Opel have placed models on the way for series production of over 200 million test kilometers.
No access for Unauthorised persons
Access to all of the above-mentioned test centres are there for Non-employees no. And if, then not more than on the invitation with the visitor badge and after a sharp security check at the entrance, where devices such as mobile phone, Laptop or photo camera are to be deposited to. For which the manufacturer wants, that his secret innovations of next years will be revealed?