In order to prepare its latest European commercial van for the harsh conditions of the real world, Ford slammed the doors of the Transit Custom more than 550,000 times as part of a torture test.
The front doors were slammed 250,000 times, while the sliding door and rear cargo door were slammed 150,000 times each. The tests were carried out using a purpose-built automated rig at Ford's European development center, where temperatures can be set anywhere between -40 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity conditions up to 85 percent. The rig was programmed to replicate the fastest door-closing speeds used by 90 percent of commercial van customers. Throughout the tests, engineers monitored the speed and force used to close the doors, and also checked the vehicle regularly for signs of damage or wear.
"This is a modern-day torture test," said Ford's chief commercial vehicle engineer Barry Gale in a release. "More than half-a-million slams, in everything from tropical heat to Arctic cold."
Ford says the door slam test is just one in a series of rigorous trials to ensure the Transit Custom can hold up to abuse over the course of many years. The automaker notes that the 250,000 door slams performed on the Transit Custom is far above the 84,000 slams in an equivalent car test. The Ford Transit Custom van goes on sale later this year in the UK. When the mechanically unrelated Ford Transit van starts production in the U.S. later this year, it will offer a choice of EcoBoost V-6 and diesel engines.