You wouldn’t put your car through a dishwasher would you? Well Nissan does with every new model it launches. Of course, you can’t fit an actual Qashqai crossover in a kitchen appliance, which is why Nissan European Technical Centre has created a scaled-up version that can be used on a full-sized vehicle.
From every angle thousands of litres of water are sprayed onto the exterior of each car, with a fingertip inspection afterward to ensure the highest quality waterproof sealing. Also known as the ‘monsoon test’, it takes places several times during the engineering development of all cars and vans, right across Nissan’s wide range.
During the process 24,000 litres of water rain onto the car with the most dramatic part chucking more than 1,000 litres in just 15 minutes – equivalent to a metre of rainfall!
On speaking about the punishing standards of the test, Carl Sandy, one of the Nissan engineers explained: “Another member of the team will be in the car with a high-definition endoscope to see inside the panels, looking for even the tiniest drop of water that may have made it through.” This attention to detail is so precise that Carl’s team will even strip out the whole interior to confirm that there is no water coming in.
During the whole program – the monsoon test and jet-wash – up to 30,000 litres of water are used. However, before you jump on the “wasteful” wagon it’s good to note that not a single drop goes down the drain. The water is filtered back into a giant tank, ready to drench the next car that comes through the chamber. Recycling the water is just as important as keeping customers dry.
Carl further went on to say: “Rigorous testing is important because not every market is the same. For example Russia, commercial jet washers run at a higher pressure to cope with road dirt. Through continuous evolution of test standards, we make sure that our cars stand up to the most demanding driving requirements.”
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