| 8:27 AM EST

BMW’s ETC: Baby It’s Cold Inside

This is Olympic champion skater Katarina Witt.


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This is Olympic champion skater Katarina Witt. She’s standing next to a BMW ActiveHybrid X6. She isn’t on the set of a movie about Arctic conditions. Rather, she is inside BMW Group’s Energy and Environmental Test Center (ETC) in Munich.


The 1,820-square meter facility has an environmental wind tunnel that can provide wind speeds of some 250 km/h and a temperature range of -10 degrees C to plus 45 degrees C, an altitude test facility, and a cold test facility

More important that providing photo ops, there is a real benefit to the development of vehicles at the ETC.

As Jürgen Engelmann, manager of ETC operations, put it, “Our standard for ETC is that it provides us with exact and reproducible results as we never could have achieved under on-street conditions. Thus, the developers can design and dimension the parts and components precisely as they are needed in everyday reality.”