Italy's First Wind Tunnel for Aerodynamic Research Turns 50

The wind tunnel has always been a strategic tool for OEMs in the automotive sector.

Aerodynamic test on the electric hypercar Automobili Pininfarina Battista.
Aerodynamic test on the electric hypercar Automobili Pininfarina Battista.
Pininfarina

Pininfarina is celebrating a milestone in aerodynamic and aeroacoustic research. In 1972, exactly 50 years ago, the company's Chairman, Sergio Pininfarina, inaugurated the wind tunnel in Grugliasco, near Turin. It was Italy's first wind tunnel to be built for testing full-scale cars, at the time one of only seven in the world.

The wind tunnel has always been a strategic tool for OEMs in the automotive sector. The advent of electric mobility, introducing new challenges in the field of aerodynamic and aeroacoustic development, has made it even more decisive in the search for increasing autonomy and interior comfort. The wind tunnel has also proved to be a powerful tool for testing and developing products across all sectors in which Pininfarina is fully committed. Examples include aircrafts, high-speed trains, yachts, buildings, wind engineering, industrial design and sporting goods.

"The wind tunnel has given our company a considerable competitive edge, being the only design company to own one. Born as a tool with which Pininfarina developed its own projects, today it's a strategic asset for the Group, thus expanding the portfolio of services that we offer to the market: an activity that supports other sectors beyond the automotive, from transportation to architecture, from nautical to industrial design," said CEO Silvio Pietro Angori.

The Pininfarina wind tunnel has received a new logo made especially for its first 50 years. The facility is also one of the few in the world to have a Turbulence Generator System (TGS) able to create various conditions of controlled turbulence, associated with gusts of wind, overtaking maneuvers, cross winds and vortices generated by cars ahead. The Ground Effect Simulation System, instead, allows reproducing real vehicle motion conditions.

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