Honda R&D Asia Pacific (HRAP) has completed construction of its new US$51 million, 800,000 square meter Asia Pacific Prachinburi Proving Ground in Thailand, which features eight unique test courses designed specifically to help engineer vehicles for the Asia and Oceania markets. Thailand is the third country where Honda has built proving grounds, the others being Japan and the USA.
The proving ground will be used for automobiles and motorcycles, with various vehicle tests including handling, stability and overall performance carried out on regionally developed products. According to HRAP, the Prachinburi Proving Ground is also expected to be used to test models for other regions in the future.
Yoshiharu Itai, managing director of HRAP said, “The test roads at our proving grounds are designed so that they reproduce various road conditions. We believe that Honda products, which will reflect the findings from the tests here at the Honda R&D Asia Pacific Prachinburi Proving Ground, will contribute to providing a sense of ‘joy’ for our customers and make our products fun to drive.”
The eight test courses simulate various road conditions and terrains, and up to a total length of approximately five miles (8km). The test courses include the following:
Vehicle Dynamics Area
This area will be used to test stability control at high speeds, and braking efficiency during sharp turns.
This 2.18km (1.35 mile) oval course will be used to test vehicle performance while driving at high speeds, plus other tests such as wind noise levels in the cabin and steering control.
This 1.38km (0.86 mile) winding course is to be used for general performance testing, including the effectiveness of braking systems and vehicle stability. The course simulates terrain of varying elevations, and incorporates 17 turns and blind spots.
A course which simulates wet and slippery road conditions, featuring the Pool Road, a test road alongside the Splash Road and the Wet Brake Road, on which the water level can be adjusted from 0 to 1,000mm to simulate flooding (which is common in Asia), and also to test water resistance and any effects on the engine.
Ride Road Course
A course which simulates road surfaces from different countries in the Asia and Oceania regions. General performance can be tested on various road surfaces, with eight roads including the ‘Concrete Highway’, the ‘Noise Road’ which features damaged asphalt, and the ‘Camber Road’.
Special Surface Course
This test course which was designed to help model rough road surfaces with 3D technology. The course can be used to test the durability of the underbody of a vehicle. The course has eight roads, which include the ‘Speed Breaker’ and the ‘Concrete Rough Road’.
A sloped course used for testing engine strength and braking performance.
A 1.2km (0.75 mile) course to test fuel economy and acceleration
And the proving ground isn’t just useful for automotive engineers: the lawns will be used in the future to test Honda’s lawn care products!