Videos FCA What’s Behind!

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    • Videos FCA What’s Behind!

      • Today saw the International Press Presentation of the FCA What's Behind project: showing for the first time "a backstage view" of the research and development phases of FCA automobiles.
      • The launch of the first two episodes of a unique kind of film series: from minus 40°C in Sweden to heat testing in South Africa, FCA is seen testing its latest models in extreme conditions.
      • Achieving the highest standards of quality, safety, reliability and comfort for every model requires constant work: the FCA What's Behind project will highlight the places, people and technical aspects involved.

      Today saw the presentation of the FCA What's Behind project, a series of lively documentary films that narrates the astonishing backstage of the complex R&D phases of FCA-branded vehicles: for the first time, FCA opens the doors of its operative centres around the world.
      All motorcar enthusiasts can enjoy a unique privileged view of all the meticulous activities of engineers and technicians working incessantly to guarantee product quality, safety, reliability and comfort in all conditions. This is why the painstaking testing, checks, validations and stress tests take place at the most extreme latitudes: the structural validity of each test project is a key element in active safety, and must ideally be measured in different environmental situations, starting from a temperature range of minus 40°C in Arjeplog, Sweden, to plus 40°C in Upington, South Africa.
      Where history and future converge
      Places and settings constitute the first theme sections of the FCA What's Behind series: the iceworld of northern Sweden and the deserts of South Africa provide the subject for the first two episodes of this docuseries, while subsequent monthly episodes will offer visits to other FCA centres of excellence such as the Proving Ground of Balocco (Province of Vercelli), the Safety Centre and the research centre "Centro Ricerche Fiat" of Orbassano (Province of Turin). All outstanding latest generation R&D technical hubs: experimental centres, testing circuits, technological facilities and offices devoted to achieving total quality.
      Starting the car: the synthesis of unending operations
      Once it has explored the places where the history and future of the FCA Group is written every day, What's Behind will explore more specific topics including engine efficiency, technology, attention to detail, comfort and driving pleasure, plus aerodynamics and traction modes. When you sit behind the wheel of an FCA Group car and experience all its virtues - from the simplicity of starting the engine to manoeuvring and then appreciating its safety, quietness, panache and road holding - you benefit from a prolonged complex, demanding and constant process. The FCA What's Behind project opens the doors of the Group to reveal the vast amount of work and expertise that goes into developing each model.
      Arjeplog: FCA Proving Ground
      Arjeplog is a township area in northern Sweden that covers about 14,500 km2, containing the FCA Proving Ground. Arjeplog offers ideal conditions and facilities for testing cars in extreme low temperature conditions: its latitude is similar to that of Iceland and the temperature can drop to -40°C... but safety is a key priority. The presence of numerous frozen lakes offers many kilometres of testing tracks with ample safe escape routes. Another plus, considering the competitive nature of the sector, is the area's isolation: roughly 1,000 km from Stockholm and from the North Cape, guaranteeing maximum discretion. The grip of the ice is unrelenting, and this makes it possible for specialized technicians to repeatedly carry out tests to fine-tune air conditioning, defrosting and demisting systems, as well as checking the performance of all materials, and the reaction times of the vehicles' many active systems. In addition, the area's spectacular frozen landscape offers low-grip surfaces on which huge icy pistes and slopes have been created. These are used to carry out numerous tests, from the set-up of vehicle suspension to kinematics (structural yielding is here reduced to zero) and repeated testing of tires, brakes, control systems, traction and differential systems. Everything must work perfectly even in the most difficult situations!
      Upington: heat testing
      If on the one hand Arjeplog's polar temperatures offer FCA perfect cold testing conditions, Upington on the other hand is ideal for brutal heat testing. A town in the northern part of South Africa, close to the border with Botswana and Namibia, Upington lies on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, next to the huge Kgalagadi Park... a name which in the Bantu language means "the waterless place". Upington is one of the hottest areas in South Africa and provides optimal conditions for evaluating the effect of maximum temperature extremes, dust and dryness on correct vehicle performance. To ensure reliability in all conditions, the components and systems of the vehicle are subjected to relentless testing: engines, climate control, safety systems and materials must withstand all weather and landscape conditions. In this part of South Africa, the climate is constantly scorching, which makes it possible to carry out all fine-tuning tests again and again.
      Turin, April 17, 2019
      Pessimisten stehen im Regen, Optimisten duschen unter den Wolken.
      Manchmal höre ich auch auf den Namen Gerd ;)

      Mein Auto: 500X OFF ROAD 1.6 E-torQ, Panda Lounge 1,2 8V

    • FCA What's Behind – Episode 2: Cars Undergo Extreme Heat Testing in South Africa

      • [b]The second episode of FCA's unique project which reveals the work carried out behind the scenes to reach the high quality, safety, reliability and comfort standards of each model is on air.
      • After the success of the trailer and the first episode, FCA What's Behind lands in South Africa for hot temperature tests.

      The first episode of FCA What's Behind showed the tests carried out on cars in the polar temperatures of Arjeplog. For the second episode, we are travelling some 15,000 kilometres south to Upington, in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, on the border with Botswana and Namibia, for tests in torrid heat conditions. Founded in 1884, the town is named after colonizer Thomas Upington and is located on the banks of the Orange river at 835 meters a.s.l. It is also the main access point to the Kalahari park, one of the most important in the country and situated at the border with Botswana.

      Although most of the tests are carried out in southern Europe and in Sicily, Upington was chosen because the development plan of a car is not always coherent with seasons in the northern hemisphere and because the town on the banks of the Orange river has the ideal conditions for testing vehicles in torrid heat. Upington is one of the hottest towns in South Africa and the ideal place to assess borderline or worst-case scenarios and to strike the right trade-off between hot temperature performance as a whole against speed, elevation and heat.

      Why test cars in torrid heat?

      Each car must reach the production stage able to withstand all weather conditions. Specifically, the hot climate all year round means that all turning tests can be performed repeatedly, for instance on the engine, specifically focusing on cooling and driveability, on the A/C system, to verify its ability to maintain climatic comfort, on material performance and on vehicle system reaction times.
      Behind the scenes of the FCA tests in Upington
      Unlike the proving ground of Arjeplog, there are no test facilities in Upington. The tests are performed in locations which reproduce the characteristics necessary to assess specific aspects or performance trade-offs influenced by environmental features.

      The vehicles are sent from Turin already equipped with the instruments needed for the tests and in addition to driving the technicians present in South Africa are also called to analyse the data collected during specific tests and transfers. All vehicle systems are monitored and any abnormal or unexpected behaviours are diagnosed to find a solution. The stream from Turin is continuous. The test team focuses on about twelve vehicles per session during which about twenty technicians are employed.
      Why South Africa?
      The environment of South Africa is ideal for car development tests. The main advantage is the easy availability of fuels with characteristics compatible with European ones, unlike Brazil, for instance, where the availability of petrol is not always guaranteed and dedicated logistics must be set up as a consequence. Cars of many different types, some totally or partially disguised, with license plates of different nationalities, can be seen in Upington. Common to all cars is the special plate authorising to travel along a 55-kilometre road where local speed limits can be broken and the cars can be driving to speeds in excess of 200 km/h. Interesting fact: carrying out the test in a place surrounded by large swathes of unspoilt nature, on roads far away from cities, means the possibility of encountering in exotic local fauna. While in Europe encountering a herd of cows on an Alpine pasture is normal, particularly during tests on mountain roads, in South Africa zebras are more typically found than cattle.
      Turin, 21 May 2019

      Episode 2

      Pessimisten stehen im Regen, Optimisten duschen unter den Wolken.
      Manchmal höre ich auch auf den Namen Gerd ;)

      Mein Auto: 500X OFF ROAD 1.6 E-torQ, Panda Lounge 1,2 8V