Cold-start performance, exhaust gas after-treatment, changing lanes, circular testing, brakes - we scrutinise everything. The vehicle testing list is long, and so not just individual components, but many specifications are tested at the same time. Take the endurance testing of the vehicle, for instance, where the drivers work in two shifts for four months, driving up to 1,200 km a day.
MAN vehicles in the "Sweden test"
Snow crystals sparkle in the sunlight, and the thud of the engine breaks the icy silence. This can only be one thing in the Swedish wasteland: The truck drivers testing on the circular test orbit.
The heavy semitrailer sets out and accelerates on a sheet of ice to 50. The driver steers the 40-tonne vehicle with calm precision, in perfect unison with the electronic stability program (ESP). Gentle steering stops the vehicle from skidding out of control. But the limit is reached as the vehicle hits 80 km/h when the laws of physics step in and the semitrailer jackknifes.
Pleased with the result, the experienced MAN test driver Josef Betz climbs out of the cab; the ESP did exactly what it is supposed to do.
Thumbs up for articulated buses with kink protection
At four hours of daylight on a good day, every ray of sunshine brings a smile. But maybe the smiles are about the successfully tested safety system.
Test engineer Maximilian Huber watched intently as an "accordion bus" boldly mastered a range of driving manoeuvres. Realistic everyday situations were tested, such as quickly changing lane to put the electronically controlled kink protection system through its paces. "This system ensures that the articulated bus does not swing in critical situations" explains Huber. "It helps to prevent accidents and protects passengers."
The upper echelons of management in the far north
The whole group is very pleased with the results at the end of the four-month test phase and with the fact that they have been able to make a valuable contribution to the success of MAN under these extreme conditions. "The winter tests have a very important role to play in ensuring that we can deliver robust and reliable vehicles to our customers", explains Jörg Junginger, responsible for bus test driving. And Rainer Miksch, Head of Truck & Bus vehicle testing, confirms: "Testing under real-life extreme conditions is essential to ensure customer satisfaction later on."