DaimlerChrysler Corp. announced June 28 that it opened a new $37.5 million wind tunnel facility that will provide the company with aerodynamic and acoustic testing capability in the design and engineering of future Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge vehicles. "This new facility underscores our company's continued investment in the future and our commitment to bringing high quality, appealing products to our customers," said Dieter Zetsche, Chrysler Group president and chief executive officer. "The Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles created with the help of this wind tunnel promise to break new ground in design and performance characteristics, including enhanced fuel efficiency and reduced wind noise." The 31,000-square-foot Aero-Acoustic Wind Tunnel facility, which will also be used for racing vehicle development, can accommodate vehicles up to 10,000 pounds. The 18-foot turntable permits precise positioning of vehicles during testing. The facility's fans can generate winds in excess of 150 miles per hour to assess aerodynamic drag and wind noise. "Reducing the air drag is the most efficient way to improve fuel economy, which is a top priority for us," said Zetsche. "Since the noise levels of powertrains have been greatly reduced, wind noise management is more important than ever. We now have the best tool in the industry to become the benchmark in both areas in the future." The Aero-Acoustic Wind Tunnel is the latest addition to the Scientific Laboratories at the DaimlerChrysler Technology Center, including an expanded powertrain test facility opened in 2000.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials