Re: Summer car testers....any stories?
Posted by Arkose on August 06, 2002 at 19:19:58:
In Reply to: Summer car testers....any stories? posted by David on August 06, 2002 at 11:23:09:
I worked as a test driver for Subaru in the 80's. Most of our cars had a tachograph (chart-plotter that records engine RMP and speed whenever the car is on) and the engineers would explicitly remind us that high RMP and speed over 70mph for more than short periods was not condoned. We were always testing their (cars & engineers) limits though ;) Our test group drove a combined 1 million miles in SoCal without an accident (you should have seen the dinner "the company" had for us!)
These pre-production cars (some are just a new transmission design or engine component) are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or more given the stage of development. They don't usually get thrashed beyond testing guidelines.
Many times a vehicle (if it had a test component) would be crushed after the parts were removed and sent back to the design facility, they said they did this to avoid import taxes??
We went on several trips to Death Valley in the summer to test air conditioning systems, but never drove hard during those trips. What you may have seen (and I did very often) was the marketing guys letting an auto mag "reporter" get a peek at an upcoming model or improvement. The popular car magazines sell product so they let these guys get away with murder on the vehicles...