Where does Chrysler do its winter testing?
When you live in a climate that transitions from warm-to-hot summers straight through rainy seasons into cold, harsh winter you want to be sure that the vehicle you drive has been appropriately tested. In this manner it’s great to know that Chrysler’s practice for all of the above are among the most meticulous of any automaker across the planet.
The question of where, precisely, the winter testing process is undertaken is quite simple if you consider the areas that have conditions that truly offer conditions indicative of the worst-of-the-worst the season might bring – in this case we point to a recent invitation to test vehicles in the epitome of treacherous winter driving in Canada: Montreal, Quebec.
With a full-range of vehicles to explore, industry professionals were offered the chance to get out into a specifically designed course and see how well the lineup did in truly wintery conditions – to almost universal praise.
But this is a reflection of a special event rather than the location where the actual in-house development testing goes on – in this case we look to Chrysler’s Chelsea Proving Grounds located in Chelsea, Michigan just a short drive from Detroit.
At 3,800 acres, the Proving Ground is one of the world’s largest and since its creation back in 1954 is also one of the oldest. 100 lane miles of on and off-road testing, the site is used year-round to ensure that when products officially launch that they offer the right features to meet all the conditions drives might experience.
Chrysler take the responsibility of providing its drivers with vehicles that can handle slippery, snowy, and uncertain situations with a confidence that is backed up by statistics and relentless testing practices. With as many as 17 of the 26 models offered with AWD or 4WD across nine nameplates there’s definitely a selection to keep you covered – this is complemented by 22 unique systems with representatives that include the 200’s full-time AWD with its disconnected rear axle all the way through the to various Jeep models and their off-road systems.
Highlights in the area include Durability Testing Roads, Evaluation and Handling Roads, Vehicle Dynamic Facilities, a variety of road grades, Off-Road Test Areas, Oval Test Track, Ride Roads, Skid Traction Facilities, Splash Through Areas, and Straightaways with data analysis centres to get the most out of the test and optimize vehicles from start to finish.
When it comes time to bring their vehicles to testing grounds, Chrysler has done its job setting up locations across the world to best reflect and match up with the real-world expectations.