Chevrolet Engineers Discover Real-world Testing Provides Insight Test Environments Cannot
DETROIT--April 11, 2014: While the testing facilities at General Motors’ multiple proving grounds around the world are state of the art, getting a test vehicle out into the real world is just as important as navigating simulated challenges. Three engineers assigned to Chevrolet products recently took that to the extreme.
When testing for the effects of cold weather on the fuel economy of the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, energy and powertrain integration engineer Tessa Baughman booked a room at Hôtel de Glace, an ice hotel outside of Quebec City, apart from a testing regime at GM’s Kapuskasing cold weather testing facility. Along the way, she experienced whiteout conditions, large snow drifts and frigid Canadian January weather – all before sleeping on a block of ice.
Nothing Baughman put the Cruze Diesel through seemed to phase the car, whether cold weather or snowy roads. And despite needing to use more energy – and therefore fuel – to get the 2.0L turbocharged clean diesel engine warm, Baughman still averaged 42.4 mpg over the course of the frigid trip.
“The trip gave me the chance to see what it’s like to drive a Cruze Diesel in everyday cold weather situations,” said Baughman. “It’s hard to replicate in a controlled testing environment.”