Computer simulations are powerful, but there is no substitute for the real thing.

With a USD $200 milllion ($270 million CAD) investment in a new, high-tech wind tunnel, Ford engineers will be able to conduct advanced experiments in real time on real vehicles, simulating extreme conditions.

Consumers are looking for greater fuel efficiency combined with top performance from their vehicles and the research completed at the new wind tunnel complex will deliver on both.

The new state-of-the-art climatic chamber at the facility will allow engineers to test advancements in both production vehicles and their racing counterparts at extreme temperatures ranging as low as -40°C and as high as +60°C! That means the chamber can run vehicles in environments as severe as the Arctic and the Sahara Desert, without ever leaving the wind tunnel.

The aerodynamic testing facility, which is scheduled to begin construction later this year, will produce “environmental airflow simulations” with speeds topping 300km/h! From high-speed performance to aerodynamic shielding, this testing facility gives engineers the power to put designs to the test in a repeatable way.

Performance vehicles aren’t the only line to benefit from these tests, as insight gained here will make its way into innovation throughout the complete line of products. Not only that, but the new facility will be able to “super size” to accommodate large frame vehicles such as the Super Duty pick up truck.

Innovation never takes a day off. Tell us what you’d do with a day wind tunnel of your own for a day on the Ford Canada Facebook page or in the comment section below!