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Honda Opens $124M Wind Tunnel

Honda has opened its new $124 million state-of-the-art wind tunnel facility, ushering in a new era of development testing capabilities for Honda and Acura products, as well as the company’s race vehicles, the automaker announced.

The new Honda Automotive Laboratories of Ohio (HALO) facility, located at the independent Transportation Research Center Inc. (TRC) in Central Ohio, houses the new wind tunnel, which features three separate testing functions — aerodynamics, aeroacoustics and racing.

Honda created the multifunctional HALO facility to reinforce its commitment to developing fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive vehicles, the company said. The wind tunnel uses an interchangeable modular ground plane system capable of aerodynamic vehicle testing of production vehicles and race machines.

With a five-belt rolling road system designed for production vehicle development and a second single wide-belt system for testing both high-performance sports cars and purpose-built race vehicles, the tunnel can generate wind speeds of more than 190 mph, Honda said.

Even more, the wind tunnel can also enable an acoustic test system for an aeroacoustic testing mode that utilizes a powerful system of acoustic arrays, made up of microphones and cameras, able to collect real-time data and precision measurement.

Absent engine and exhaust sounds, wind noise will be more noticeable inside the cabin of an electric vehicle, Honda said. Using the acoustic test system, Honda engineers will be able to identify the precise locations of both interior and exterior noise issues.

“Honda’s product development capabilities will advance to new heights thanks to this investment in our Ohio research operations,” said Jim Keller, executive vice president of Honda Development & Manufacturing of America, LLC (HDMA), and leader of the company’s North American Auto Development Center. “With this new facility, Honda is not simply investing in an advanced technology facility but in the future of the Honda engineers and other researchers who will work here.”

Additionally, the wind tunnel’s aerodynamic test capabilities will help increase the range and performance of the company’s future full-electric vehicles, the company said.

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the digital content editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at ahecht@cahabamedia.com.

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