Vehicles known for longevity against the elements are something special. Such well deserved reputations are partly why Jeep enthusiasts feel so passionate.
Recently, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles invested $2.5 million to enhance and further establish the aforementioned reputation.
FCA’s Climate Test Facilities simulate adverse environmental conditions to measure vehicle endurance and durability. FCA automobiles, in turn, become more resistant to severe weather. A new 4×4 dynamometer, manages up to 350 horsepower in the front and 650 in the rear.
The investment also included a duct work overhaul.
A vehicle inside the climate cell will experience violent swings in temperature, back to back. Frigid, 40 below, 100 mph snowy winds, followed by extreme desert heat. Other tests involve torrential rain and steep, 130 degree braking.
All to measure how a vehicle will respond and perform under intense pressure in the real world.
The upgrades will now accommodate larger vehicles, like the 2016 Ram 6.7-liter Cummins High-Output Turbo Diesel.
“Our world-class environmental test center provides dynamic and static testing conditions to simulate the climatic environments that are experienced by our customers around the world. With more 4×4 and all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicles in our fleet than ever, this investment will go a long way to providing the durable cars and trucks our customers expect from us.” ~ John Nigro, Vice President-Product Development, FCA-North America.
Second only to the Pentagon, FCA’s United States headquarters is the largest of any kind, with over 5.4 million square feet of floor space. 129 dynamometer cells operate 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
FCA’s headquarters has maintained this schedule since opening in 1991. As a fully functioning entity, a future FCA vehicle can go from rough sketch, to prototype, to advertising and never leave the building.
The Chrysler Technical Center employs over 14,000 individuals, the most in its history. The CTC is located in Auburn Hills, Michigan.