Ford Wind Tunnel
Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
February 15, 2017

Wind tunnel research has led to increased aerodynamics, greater vehicle performance, and improved fuel economy. The latter really being the hot button these days with auto manufacturers looking to improve the fuel economy of vehicle lines. The byproduct of increased fuel economy and improved aerodynamics is that auto manufacturers can also increase vehicle performance, as well, while maintaining ever-restrictive fuel economy standards.

Our favorite auto manufacturer, Ford Motor Company, is doing its part to improve performance and fuel economy by investing $200 million into a new wind tunnel complex on 13 acres of land next to its Driveability Test Facility in Allen Park, Michigan. The complex will be able to recreate real-world driving conditions, and see where improvements can be made to existing vehicle lines. The new wind tunnel will be able to simulate up to 200 mph, and replicate sub-Arctic weather all the way up to 140-degree temps, as well.

“This investment in new world-class test facilities underpins Ford’s ongoing commitment to advance our capabilities to continue to provide our customers with high-quality vehicles,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, global product development and chief technical officer.

“This new wind tunnel facility will not only allow us to test our performance and racing vehicle line-up but will also enable us to share innovations across all our global Ford products,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director. The wind tunnel will be “super-sized” to also accommodate large Ford vehicles including Super Duty trucks.

Ford says construction on the new wind tunnel will begin in 2017.