FCA What's Behind: on-air the episode 2 realized in South Africa
The second episode of FCA's unique project which reveals the work carried out behind the scenes to reach the high quality, safety, reliability and comfort standards of each model is on air.
After the success of the trailer and the first episode, FCA What's Behind lands to Upington, in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, on the border with Botswana and Namibia, for tests in torrid heat conditions. Although most of the tests are carried out in southern Europe and in Sicily, Upington was chosen because the development plan of a car is not always coherent with seasons in the northern hemisphere and because the town on the banks of the Orange river has the ideal conditions for testing vehicles in torrid heat. Upington is one of the hottest towns in South Africa and the ideal place to assess borderline or worst-case scenarios and to strike the right trade-off between hot temperature performance as a whole against speed, elevation and heat.
Specifically, the hot climate all year round means that all turning tests can be performed repeatedly, for instance on the engine, specifically focusing on cooling and driveability, on the A/C system, to verify its ability to maintain climatic comfort, on material performance and on vehicle system reaction times.
Unlike the proving ground of Arjeplog, there are no test facilities in Upington. The tests are performed in locations which reproduce the characteristics necessary to assess specific aspects or performance trade-offs influenced by environmental features.
The vehicles are sent from Turin already equipped with the instruments needed for the tests and in addition to driving the technicians present in South Africa are also called to analyse the data collected during specific tests and transfers. All vehicle systems are monitored and any abnormal or unexpected behaviours are diagnosed to find a solution. The stream from Turin is continuous. The test team focuses on about twelve vehicles per session during which about twenty technicians are employed.