Honda opens £40 million testing facility in Thailand

Published: 21 July 2017

Honda opened its first Thailand proving ground for motorcycles and cars this week.

And according to Thailand’s Minister of Science and Technology, Atchaka Sibunruang, the £40 million facility will help the Japanese firm strengthen its development potential in the country. 

The new testing location, situated in the Prachinburi province, is also one of three countries in the world which now houses a Honda facility, the others being the US and Japan.

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“Thailand has been at the centre of our manufacturing and exports in the Asia & Oceania region as well as an important base for our R&D operations,” said Shinji Aoyama, Asian Honda Motor Co President and CEO.

“The Prachinburi Proving Ground will reinforce our product line-up by providing more competitive and attractive models beyond the expectations of customers in Thailand and the region.” 

Thanks to eight courses, the proving ground will allow comprehensive vehicle testing to take place, such as stability and overall performance checks.

These specially designed courses collectively measure a total of 8km and feature a number of different road conditions and terrains to simulate various driving and riding scenarios. 

Honda's new Thai testing quarters

2.18km oval

  • To be used to test a vehicle’s performance while driving at high speeds, plus other tests such as noise levels from wind and steering while controlling.

Honda Proving Ground oval course

1.38km winding course

  • 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.

Vehicle dynamics area

  • An extended area from the Oval Course. To be used to test stability control at high speeds and braking efficiency during sharp turns. 

Wet course

  • Simulating wet and slippery road conditions, this course can be used to test the impact of wet roads on a vehicle’s performance. It features the Pool Road, a test road alongside the Splash Road and the Wet Brake Road, which can adjust the water level from 0 to 1000mm to simulate flooding. This course also tests water resistance and any effects it may have on the engine.

Honda Proving Ground wet course

The Ride Road course

  • A course which simulates different road surfaces. To be used to test general performance on different road surfaces. The Ride Road Course has eight roads including the Concrete Highway, the Noise Road using damaged asphalt, and the Camber Road.

Special surface course

  • A test course which was designed to model rough road surfaces with 3D technology. To 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.

Honda Proving Ground special surface course

The Slope course

  • To be used to test engine strength and braking performance.

1.2km Straight

  • Used to test fuel economy and acceleration.

At the opening ceremony, Yoshiharu Itai, Managing Director and representative of Japan-based Honda R&D Co., said, “The expansion of Honda’s testing operation here will help us to gain accurate and beneficial information to crease a wide range of products.”

Sounds impressive, eh? Well, for 40 mill...

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