Extreme Weather Testing For Four-Wheel-Drive

Chrysler Technology Center's new dyno puts engines to the test

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has just invested $2.5 million into its Chrysler Technology Center. The reason for the quick cash spend? The installation of an upgraded four-wheel-drive dynamometer that can handle plenty of power while the CTC kicks out brutal temperatures. Inside the center, test engineers can create winds up to 100 miles per hour while dropping the temperature down to minus 40 degrees. That rather chilling combination allows engineers to see what happens to their vehicles when intakes are getting clogged, parts are freezing, and cold weather is wreaking all manner of havoc.

The dyno can handle front axle power of up to 350 horsepower, while the rear can take on 650 horsepower. Additionally, the ducting inside the facility has been improved so that high-output diesel vehicles can be tested. This includes the 2016 Ram fitted with the 6.7-liter Cummins that generates 900 pound-feet of torque.

Is it possible that this dyno could be used for another application? Say to test the upcoming Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk? Yes, we know that this MUV (Monster Utility Vehicle) will come packing the 707-horsepower Hellcat powertrain, but it could be setup to split torque between the rear axles. Then this new “cold weather” dyno could become a nice testing platform for our future favorite Jeep.

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