Volkswagen has opened a new 250km/h-capable wind tunnel in an effort to improve vehicle drag reduction, fuel consumption and emissions.

CAPABLE OF SIMULATING temperatures of between -30-degrees C and +60-degrees C, Volkswagen’s new wind tunnel which can generate wind speeds of up to 250km/h has been certified for measurements meeting WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedures).

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Dr Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen brand, said: “By 2020, we will renew our entire product portfolio as well as expanding it in key segments. All in all, our development teams are working on more than 50 vehicle projects.” The Wind Tunnel Efficiency Center offers optimum conditions for further improving the consumption figures of the growing model range, among other items.

According to Volkswagen, the flat belt in the acoustics and aerodynamics tunnel is intended to simulate real-world driving operation. “Each individual wheel of the vehicle is positioned on its own flat belt. This allows turning motions of the wheels in a way which is similar to driving on the road. The balance, with integrated camera system, aligns each model tested fully automatically in less than five minutes. The previous system required about 30 minutes. And the acoustic insulation of the tunnel makes it one of the quietest automotive wind tunnels in the world. At a wind speed of 160km/h, the tunnel only reaches a sound pressure level of 65 decibels, comparable with TV operated at a reasonable volume or normal speech”.

The new thermal wind tunnel can simulate snow and rain and sunlight. Volkswagen said the new wind tunnel would allow it to reduce costs associated with testing in remote areas… the new tunnel will also fast-track testing with a wind tunnel test able to determine an aerodynamic value in 20min while it would take a computer a couple of days.


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