Ford Proving Grounds

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Ford Motor Company operates several proving grounds worldwide, for development and validation testing of new vehicles.

North America[edit]

Arizona Proving Ground (APG) - Wittmann, Arizona[edit]

Aerial view of the Ford Arizona Proving Ground.

The Arizona Proving Ground opened in 1985. The Proving Ground consists of 1,498 acres (6.06 km²) located less than one hour northwest of the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport at an elevation of 1,650 feet (500 m). The facility was originally a Volvo facility (VAPG) but was transitioned to the Ford branding in the summer of 2009 and renamed the Arizona Proving Ground (APG). Volvo still is a large user of it.

It features a 2-mile oval track with banked curves, a 2-mile completely straight road, a brake test area and some more tracks.

The Arizona Proving Ground is operated year round. The climate is of a desert type with low annual rainfall and low relative humidity. Daytime temperatures are high throughout the summer months. The winters are mild. Nighttime temperatures frequently drop below freezing during the three coldest months, but the afternoons are usually sunny and warm. The summer heat (over 100 °F (38 °C)) is the most used time of the year, since worst case should be tested in order to cover many test cases.

The facility is conveniently located on the outskirts of Phoenix, and offers complete services for vehicle testing to outside companies. Outside parties can have testing conducted by APG personnel or can directly rent the use of the test surfaces for their own staff. Office space, garage areas and event planning is also offered.

Michigan Proving Ground (MPG) - Romeo, Michigan[edit]

The Ford Michigan Proving Ground (MPG) of Romeo, Michigan sits on 3,880 acres (15.7 km²), and contains a total of over 100 miles (160 km) of roads. These grounds hold events like the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Formula car competition (FSAE). This involves teams from colleges and universities around the world to compete in a competition involving both design and performance.

  • Major facilities: High speed track, durability/special surface roads, grades, EMC facility, road simulators, fire resistance facility, vehicle dynamics area
  • Purpose: Car and truck durability, performance testing

Dearborn Development Center (formerly Dearborn Proving Ground (DPG))[edit]

The Dearborn Development Center was built on the site of Ford Airport in Dearborn, Michigan. The facility, formerly known as Dearborn Proving Ground (DPG), completed major reconstruction and renovations in 2006.

Extreme Cold Weather Test Facility (ECWTF) - Thompson, Manitoba[edit]

The facility is located at the nearby airport in Thompson, Manitoba, Canada. The Extreme Cold Weather Test Facility offers vehicle testing in extremely cold weather conditions, and with ice and snow, during the winter months from around November 1 to April 30.


  • 600 foot (180 m) diameter skid circle
  • Ride & handling course
  • 1600 foot (490 m) straightaway
  • 1500 foot (460 m) variable friction surfaces
  • Ice skid pads
  • 500 foot (150 m) snow run up
  • 900 foot (270 m) ice straightaway
  • 200 foot (60 m) snow braking
  • 18,000 square foot (1670 m²) indoor facility with vehicle hoists
  • 729 feet (222 m) above sea level
  • Packed snow surfaces

Cuautitlan Proving Ground - Ford of Mexico - Cuautitlan, Mexico[edit]

Cold Climate Test Facility - Bemidji, Minnesota[edit]

  • Stats: Avg. temps are −30 °F (−34 °C) to +10F during winter months
  • Major facilities: Cold start positions, snow ingestion building
  • Major testing: Cold weather starting/drives, snow ingestion

Automatic Transmission New Product Center - Livonia, Michigan[edit]

South America[edit]

Tatui Proving Ground (TPG), Sao Paulo, Brazil[edit]


Dunton Technical Centre (DTC) - Basildon, Essex, England[edit]

Proving ground for Ford UK.

Lommel Proving Grounds (LPG) - Lommel, Belgium[edit]

The Lommel Proving Grounds, also known as Ford LPG, were constructed on land rented from the city of Lommel from 1960.

  • Stats: 796 acres (3.22 km²), 49.7 miles (80.0 km) of roads
  • Major facilities: Humidity chambers, salt water/mud baths, straightaway, high speed track, durability road, special surfaces, side wind facility
  • Major testing: Car and light truck durability; performance, ride, and handling


Lara/You Yangs Proving Ground - Ford Australia - You Yangs, Australia[edit]

  • Latitude and longitude: 37°53′29″S 144°24′32″E / 37.89139°S 144.40889°E / -37.89139; 144.40889
  • Stats: 930 hectares (2,300 acres) Over 80 km (50 miles) of roads and tracks [1]
  • Major facilities include:
    • Parabolic high speed track 4.8 km [2]
    • Special surfaces (Cobblestones, corrugations, Belgian blocks, etc.), Low speed track, High speed ride and handling course, Sealed and unsealed gradients, Sealed and unsealed skid pans, Salt/mud bath, Environmental exposure area, Crash test site, Climatic test chambers, Anechoic dyno chamber, High speed wind tunnel, Emissions testing laboratory.
  • Major testing includes:
    • Performance vehicle development, Vehicle ride and handling refinement, Environmental condition simulation, Vehicle corrosion, Noise vibration and harshness, Emissions control, Vehicle durability.

Former Ford Proving Grounds[edit]

Arizona Proving Ground (APG) - Yucca, Arizona[edit]

Arizona Proving Ground (APG) was sold to Chrysler in 2007. This is no longer a Ford facility.

Cold Climate Test Facility - Raco, Michigan[edit]

Facility now owned by Smithers Scientific Services

Florida Evaluation Center (FEC) - Naples, Florida[edit]

This facility is no longer leased by Ford. Ford sold the facility in 2002 to Harley Davidson. It has been taken over by Chrysler in early 2013 with Harley-Davidson leasing parts of the facility.[3]

  • Stats: 530 acres (2.1 km²), 6.2 miles (10 km) of roads
  • Major facilities: Straightaway, lane change area, handling course, sound test area
  • Major testing: Warm weather performance and handling



External links[edit]