10 03 2015

Extremely testing environments

Only 100km from the Arctic Circle, GKN’s test track facility in Arjlepog puts our products through their paces on the most challenging of terrains.

For the first three months of every year, Arjeplog becomes a key hub for the European automotive industry to test its vehicles in extreme winter weather conditions with over 9,000 industry experts descending on the sleepy Swedish town.

GKN Driveline has been going to Arjeplog, where temperatures can reach as low as -40c, for nearly 30 years to assess the behaviour of vehicles in winter conditions. We test numerous product features to ensure safety, durability and performance in all environments. The benefits of our all-wheel drive and limited slip differential technology on the performance of a range of cars are also assessed.

GKN’s Wintertest programme runs from January to March every year and in 2015 featured nearly 20 vehicles being tested across eight tracks. Among the cars being tested this year is the BMW i8, featuring GKN’s two-speed eAxle, the first hybrid supercar with all-wheel drive available at all vehicle speeds up to 250kph.

GKN has three test courses at its site, all located on a frozen lake; a circle with a diameter of 250 metres, a vehicle dynamics pad of 1.5 kilometres and a winding course of about three kilometres long. All three courses are used for assessing our driveline systems and determining driving stability and vehicle behaviour.

Other technology tested or demonstrated this year includes the Electronic Torque Manager 2 system in the BMW M3, the all-wheel drive Disconnect TWINSTER system on the Range Rover Evoque and the multi-mode GKN gearbox in the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid vehicle.

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