Kia has shown off the hot weather testing program for the 2016 Kia Sportage in one of “the most extreme and rigorous vehicle testing programme ever devised by the company”.

DEATH VALLEY IS widely known to be one of the hottest places on the planet and plenty of car makers give their vehicles a hot weather workout here where temperatures can reach up to 56-degrees C. Kia is the latest brand to do so, with the 2016 Kia Sportage copping a roasting as part of “the most extreme and rigorous vehicle testing programme ever devised by the company”.

Making its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week, Kia has today revealed details of the hot weather testing the new Sportage copped. According to Kia the hot weather testing comprised two elements in three parts, two parts to stress the heating and cooling system and the other to stress the engine and transmission. 

2016 Kia Sportage hot weather testing programme revealed

“The first of these tests is the up-hill climb, in which the vehicle is soaked in the midday sun for an hour to bring the cabin temperature over 50ºC (122ºF). The Sportage is then driven from sea level to almost 5000 feet elevation through the aptly-named Furnace Creek area of Death Valley, a steady climb over 27 kilometres (17 miles) at 100 kph (62 mph). The test is designed to ensure that the additional load placed on the engine has minimum impact on the car’s ability to cool itself and its occupants,” Kia said in a statement.

“The second test, the stop-and-go drive, simulates typical conditions in a congested urban centre. Engineers drive the all-new Sportage at 40 kph (25 mph) for two minutes through Furnace Creek, before stopping and idling for another two minutes. The process is repeated several times, and – again – is designed to put additional strain on the engine, transmission and HVAC systems and eliminate any possible flaws.

“The final test devised by Kia’s engineering teams for the all-new Sportage is a slow drive, which takes place at the lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin – around 86 metres (282 feet) below sea level. After another one-hour heat soak, the all-new Sportage is driven at 40 kph (25 mph) for 30 minutes at a time, allowing vehicle engineers to verify – and improve – the capacity of the HVAC system when there is a dramatically reduced level of airflow to the air conditioning condenser unit.”

According to Kia the new Sportage, which as we know, is currently in Australia having its ride and handling assessed and tuned for our conditions and tastes, is just about at the end of its global test programme, “which has seen a fleet of development test vehicles subjected to numerous durability and reliability tests, equivalent to a cumulative mileage of more than 5.5 million kilometers – approximately 137 circulations of the Earth around the equator, and a far greater distance than many motorists will cover in a lifetime of driving”.


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