New GM Wind Tunnel Accelerates Fuel-Saving Designs

New GM Wind Tunnel Accelerates Fuel-Saving Designs

Expanded testing capacity for quieter vehicles and lower operating cost

General Motors Aerodynamic Engineer Nina Tortosa tests underbody airflow on a Chevrolet Cruze 40-percent scale model in General Motors' new $30 million Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel in Warren, Michigan. A conveyor-style rolling road system simulates real-world highway driving conditions up to a top speed of 155 mph. Working suspensions with spinning wheels allow aerodynamic engineers to better examine how airflow affects a vehicle’s underbody while in motion.

A Chevrolet Silverado 40-percent scale model is aligned on a cart in a special staging area before it goes into General Motors' new $30 million Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel for aerodynamic testing. The $30 million facility allows for realistic testing of scale models early in the vehicle development process. Advanced 3D printing machines create underbodies and engine blocks that are detailed and to scale for the reduced sized clay models.

General Motors Aerodynamic Engineer Nina Tortosa tests a Chevrolet Cruze 40-percent scale model in GM’s new $30 million Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel in Warren, Michigan. Equipped with a conveyor-style rolling road system, it simulates real-world highway driving conditions up to a top speed of 155 mph. Working suspensions with spinning wheels allow aerodynamic engineers to better examine how airflow affects a vehicle’s underbody while in motion, ultimately resulting in quieter cars and trucks that cost less to operate. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

General Motors Aerodynamic Engineer Nina Tortosa tests a Chevrolet Cruze 40-percent scale model in GM’s new $30 million Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel in Warren, Michigan. Equipped with a conveyor-style rolling road system, it simulates real-world highway driving conditions up to a top speed of 155 mph. Working suspensions with spinning wheels allow aerodynamic engineers to better examine how airflow affects a vehicle’s underbody while in motion, ultimately resulting in quieter cars and trucks that cost less to operate. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

General Motors Aerodynamic Engineer Nina Tortosa tests a Chevrolet Cruze 40-percent scale model in GM’s new $30 million Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel in Warren, Michigan. Equipped with a conveyor-style rolling road system, it simulates real-world highway driving conditions up to a top speed of 155 mph. Working suspensions with spinning wheels allow aerodynamic engineers to better examine how airflow affects a vehicle’s underbody while in motion, ultimately resulting in quieter cars and trucks that cost lest to operate. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

General Motors Aerodynamic Engineer Nina Tortosa tests airflow over a Chevrolet Cruze 40-percent scale model in General Motors' new $30 million Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel in Warren, Michigan. The new aerodynamic test facility is located next to GM’s full-scale wind tunnel that has been in operation since 1980. Together, the facilities give GM a competitive advantage in aerodynamic testing capacity and capabilities. GM’s customers benefit from quieter cars and trucks that cost less to operate.(Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

General Motors' new, 35,000-square-foot Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel aerodynamically tests clay models up to 40 percent of the scale of a vehicle. The wind tunnel’s fan allows for air flow up to an equivalent speed of 155 mph. The new $30 million aerodynamic test facility is located next to GM’s full-scale wind tunnel that has been in operation since 1980. Together, the facilities give GM a competitive advantage in aerodynamic testing capacity and capabilities. GM’s customers benefit from quieter cars and trucks that cost less to operate. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

General Motors Aerodynamic Engineer Nina Tortosa (left) and GM Creative Sculptor Bailey Sisoy Isgro work on a 40-percent clay scale model of a Chevrolet Impala at General Motors’ new $30 million Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel at its Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. The new $30 million facility helps accelerate fuel-saving designs early in the development process of new cars and trucks. Refining aerodynamics at 40-percent scale is highly effective because shaping one pound of clay is equivalent to working with 16 pounds of clay at full scale. Changes can be made quickly for retesting in the wind tunnel. (Photo by John F. Martin for General Motors)

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 5:40pm

CAMPAIGN: GM Greener Vehicles

CONTENT: Press Release

WARREN, Mich., November 10, 2015  /3BL Media/ – General Motors is now able to accelerate and verify fuel-saving designs earlier in development of new cars and trucks thanks to a new reduced scale wind tunnel test facility on the campus of the company’s Technical Center.

GM’s new, 35,000-square-foot Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel aerodynamically tests clay models up to 40 percent of the scale of a vehicle. It is equipped with a conveyor-style rolling road system that simulates real-world highway driving conditions up to a top speed of 155 mph. Testing reduced-sized vehicles on a simulated road allows GM aerodynamic engineers to reduce wind drag in a  full-size vehicle design.

Advanced 3D printing machines create underbodies and engine blocks that are detailed and to scale for the reduced sized clay models. Working suspensions with spinning wheels allow aerodynamic engineers to better examine how airflow affects a vehicle’s underbody while in motion, resulting in quieter cars and trucks that can cost customers less to operate.

The new aerodynamic test facility is located next to GM’s full-scale wind tunnel that has been in operation since 1980. Together, the facilities give GM a competitive advantage in testing capacity and capabilities.

The original full-scale wind tunnel will be upgraded next year with its own full-scale rolling road system and other improvements.

“The combined capabilities of our new reduced-scale and full-scale wind tunnels allow us to reach industry-leading levels of aerodynamic refinement,” said Ken Morris, vice president, GM Global Product Integrity. “We view the new $30 million reduced scale wind tunnel as an investment towards a better, more energy-efficient future.”

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com 

Klaus-Peter Martin
Global Product
Phone 313-665-5293
Mobile 313-522-6303
klaus-peter.martin@gm.com