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Ford’s You Yangs Proving Ground turns 50

Ford’s You Yangs Proving Ground is celebrating 50 years of operation and is one of several fully equipped Ford proving grounds in the world.

FORD’S ICONIC YOU YANGS Proving Ground is celebrating 50 years in operation and Ford says the site, along with its Geeling Research and Development Centre and the Asia-Pacific Engineering Centre will see Ford Australia continue to be at the centre of vehicle development.

“The proving ground, the $27 million Geelong Research and Development Centre and the Asia-Pacific Engineering Centre in Campbellfield – including the Design Centre – are instrumental as part of Ford’s on-going investment story as the company continues to build its capability as an innovator and centre of excellence for the Asia Pacific region post-2017,” said Ford Australia CEO, Graeme Whickman.

“In 2015 alone, Ford has spent around $300 million on R&D, bringing to $2 billion the amount of money spent on R and D over the past six years,” Whickman said.

]Apart from being a key development and durability centre for Ford vehicles in Australia, Ford said the YYPG is also used in the testing of a wide range of vehicles for other Ford markets in the Asia Pacific region, as well as Ford globally.

“Most recently the YYPG was used to help the development testing of the acclaimed Ford Everest, which is receiving rave reviews by auto media around the country,” Whickman said. The award-winning Ranger pickup was also developed at the YYPG.

Among the facilities are the Advanced Centre for Automotive Research and Testing (ACART), a Vehicle Semi-Anechoic Chamber (VSAC), vehicle dynamics area, a kinematics and compliance rig and a High Speed Centre. The proving ground also has more than 80 km of test surfaces covering a range of roads, corners, braking test areas and inclines designed to test both vehicles and components.

Ford Australia’s You Yangs Proving Ground (YYPG) was opened in 1965. One of the first true tests of the fledgling facility was a 112,600 kilometre (70,000 mile) endurance run for the 1965 Falcon XP sedan, which set 49 Australian endurance records during the event (see the picture gallery below).

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober