Ford is testing its 2017 F-Series Super Duty trucks in -20 degrees at The McKinley Climatic Laboratory, an environmental testing facility in Florida, USA. The company apparently wants to make its next-gen F-Series Super Duty range fully capable of withstanding extreme weather conditions, for that’s what one would expect for a pickup truck that could cost well over US$70,000.
The McKinley Climatic Laboratory has five climate chambers. The largest one covers an area of 55,000 square-foot and can hold 3.25 million cubic-feet of air. This air can be heated to 165 degrees or cooled to -85 degrees in less than a day. Moreover, these chambers can also have different set-ups for humidity, altitude and weather. The facility is owned by the U.S. Air Force and typically used for government and military testing. Occasionally it is also contracted out to companies for commercial purposes.
The report comes from Truck Trend, which says that Ford has kept four Super Duty pickup trucks in the cold weather at the facility in idle mode non-stop for three weeks, as a response to the customers who use them in extreme cold, such as in the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.
Such conditions often force the customers to idle their trucks for long periods and these tests will give them a safety assurance. In the current Super Duty trucks, long-term idling in cold weather is found to have caused delayed issues with the emissions system. The company wants to ensure that such problems don’t come up in the next generation. It has its own climate chambers in Michigan but none of them have enough space to allow at least four trucks to idle for nearly a month.
The 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks are expected to go on sale in H2 2016 and will get a new body design, likely influenced by the thirteenth generation F-150 that was launched at the Detroit Motor Show in 2014.
[Source: Truck Trend]