To make sure that their vehicles are aerodynamic pleasing, Honda recently invested $124 million US to the construction of a new advanced wind tunnel facility at their Transportation Research Center in East Liberty, Ohio. The new wind tunnel will be used by both Honda and their engineering clients to fine tune the aerodynamics of upcoming road and race cars.
"This new facility will further enhance our ability to efficiently create products of the highest quality for our customers. It will be integral to our aerodynamic and aeroacoustic R&D activity, which spans from advanced research and computer simulation, through scale-model and full vehicle development, to production vehicle performance assurance. And all of this is being done right here in the U.S." said Frank Paluch, president of Honda R&D Americas, Inc.
The new “aeroacoustic” wind tunnel will be capable of generating wind speeds of up to 309 km/h. Aside from the fast wind speed, Honda's wind tunnel will also have a unique system on site that would allow road cars to test on a five-belt rolling road, and a single, wide belt for race cars. Cameras and microphones attached to both inside and outside the vehicle allow for design tweaks to reduce road noise.
Groundbreaking for the new wind tunnel is slated for mid-2017, with no date mentioned as to when it will be completed. Apart from the soon to rise wind tunnel, Honda has a rich history in Ohio with their Transportation Research Center being there as well. It is also in Ohio where the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine of the Civic Type R is produced, specifically at their engine plant in Anna. Meanwhile, in Marysville, Honda builds the NSX at its Performance Manufacturing Center.