Bmw opens its latest Aerodynamic Test Center

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

The German carmaker BMW is opening its latest Aerodynamic Test Center (ATC) as the main element in its commemoration of its Technology Day today. The center will be utilized for making more efficient and more sporting cars of the future. The external profile of the facility reflects the high-tech activities going on inside.

The facility is basically a wind tunnel that can spew air up to 186mph (300km/h), but it's really more than that and BMW aims at using its special features to produce better vehicles. The ATC is capable of testing aerodynamics in different kinds of real-world driving situations without the need of building a complete road-worthy test vehicle.

The result is faster development time, lowered costs and aids engineers get a closer look before doing anything actually. Because of the size and scale of the ATC, it permits testing of new designs and how they actually interact on the road with other cars at speed.

Besides blowing wind over the cars to observe airflow, the new system comes with five rolling tracks installed to permit flow dynamics to include for wheel movement and other factors and influences an operating engine might generate.

With this in place, the carmaker can examine how airflow influence driving dynamics in the lab, where conditions can be controlled as opposed to a test track where everything is relative. Together with the ATC, BMW will also showcase its latest straight-six turbocharged power units in both gasoline and diesel configurations, to demonstrate their enhanced efficiency and potency figures.

One of the powerplants is the TwinPower Turbo gasoline unit that produces 306hp (225kW) which comes with a combination of direct injection and fully adjustable valve timing for optimized power and efficiency. With the combination of this trio of technologies, BMW succeeded in lowering fuel consumption by 9 percent even with a high power yield.

Topics: bmw, technology

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