The Siberian village of
Oymyakon remains at 50 degrees below zero for several months of the year, and
is considered the coldest permanently inhabited place on Earth. On the other
hand, registering a maximum of 57 degrees, the Libyan town of Al Aziziya is
considered the hottest location in the world. In order to guarantee that a car
can reliably drive in places with such widely different climactic conditions,
parts and prototypes are also exposed to extreme temperatures.
These are the temperature
variations in a car’s development stage as well as when it is being
1) Red-hot engines at 910 degrees: This is the temperature that the
engines reach during the 12-hour tests prior to their production. They are
revved up to 6,500 rpm to simulate their service life under all kinds of
conditions. The goal is to certify the highest output while controlling fuel
consumption and emission levels.
2) From the Arctic cold to 45 degree desert heat: Dashboards, car
seats and steering wheels are tested in a weather chamber at the SEAT Technical Centre. Inside, the
temperatures range from 40 degrees below zero to 110 degrees above. At a place
located near the Arctic Circle, prototypes also undergo analysis in real
conditions of heat and cold, including more than 60 tests, driving 30,000
kilometres at 35 degrees below zero and a frozen lake that is used as a driving
circuit. On the other side of the world, specialists perform tests such as
traction control, dust aspiration and driving on gravel in a desert region at
45 degrees Celsius. The goal of this series of tests is to ensure the
durability and functionality of every part.
3) A car seat that reaches 40 degrees: Heated seats can reach this
temperature in 15 minutes. To check that the heat is evenly distributed, the
car is placed in a booth at -20 degrees Celsius and is analysed using a
thermographic camera. The goal is to guarantee the comfort of the future
4) What does a steering wheel smell like when heated to 60 degrees?:Heat
makes it easier to identify smells. For this reason, a team of specialists from
the SEAT Quality department heats the car to above 60 degrees before climbing
inside to check what the different materials smell like. The goal is to detect
any possible unpleasant odours.
5) At 900 degrees to ensure durability: High temperatures to test
the vehicle, but also to produce some of the parts. For example, 15,000 tonnes
of aluminium has to be melted at 700 degrees to make the gearboxes. Once made,
they can spend up to 14 hours in an oven at 900 degrees; this increases their
durability 5,000 times.
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