Sunday, December 4, 2022
News GM's Kapuskasing Proving Grounds Knows Cold

GM’s Kapuskasing Proving Grounds Knows Cold

Cold-weather testing is a must for our market and GM’s Kapuskasing Proving Grounds is the chill place to get the work done


  • Kapuskasing is GM’s North American cold-weather testing grounds.

  • Temperatures can dip below -40C, which constitutes is very cold.

  • The facility officially opened its doors in 1973.


As we wearily leave a very cold February behind us and look forward to spring, there’s a group among GM’s vast engineering and development resources that need the cold. Way up in Kapuskasing, Ontario, is GM’s full-scale permanent cold-weather test facility where vehicles have been tested in the most rigorous conditions for nearly 50 years.

GM Kapuskasing Proving Grounds | Photo: GM

In fact, GM began testing military vehicles for the government in Kapuskasing in 1941 but the last half-century has seen most of GM’s new vehicle spend some time basking in the sun-drenched yet uber-chilly Northern-Ontario air.

The Grounds include, which sit on 272 acres of land, features a 3.6km advanced test track with full WiFi coverage and a smart camera system, a 13-vehicle garage, and no less than 30 cold cells capable of recreating seriously cold weather conditions of up to, or down to, -45C.

It is at this facility that GM engineers torture test everything from batteries (in a lab or outdoors), various mechanical components, and all other systems that ensure a vehicle’s operation. The goal is to discover, or possibly reproduce, situations and circumstances that consumers may face on a daily basis.

GM Kapuskasing Proving Grounds | Photo: GM

During the months between December and February, anywhere from 150-250 vehicles are put to the test on the Cold Weather Vehicle Line. The Cold Weather Exposure Line sees about 30 vehicles put through a cold weather exposure test.

These vehicles are tested non-stop, 24/7 in fact, and can range from early prototypes all the way to occasionally evaluating production models already on sale. Depending on a given vehicle’s development cycle, such as a hand-built near-production model, it is possible that some return for a second round of the freezes the following winter for further analysis.

GM Kapuskasing Proving Grounds | Photo: GM

While it’s obvious that internal combustion engine vehicles have been doing the rounds at the facility for almost 50 years, electric vehicles have only circulated on the frozen grounds for a few years. Most of the testing for both types of vehicles is identical, from complex safety systems to doors, for example, however, EVs are further investigated for evident reasons. Electric vehicle assessing at Kapuskasing has resulted in numerous improvements being made to batteries and drive systems in order to enhance range, among other things.

The Kapuskasing Proving Grounds is the largest automotive cold weather development facility in Ontario. It is part of GM’s Canadian Technical Centre which, including campuses in Markham and Oshawa, has become the largest software engineering and development centre for GM outside the U.S.

GM Kapuskasing Proving Grounds | Photo: GM

If you’re curious about what the facility looks like, you can plug the address in Google maps. Here’s the address:

Kapuskasing Proving Grounds General Motors

204 Government Road West

Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada

GM Kapuskasing Proving Grounds | Photo: GM

Trending Now

No Extra Power for S650 2024 Ford Mustang?

Multiple sources say 450 hp for 2024 Mustang GT Ford still planning 500 hp Dark Horse model The next-generation 2024 Ford Mustang is coming...

Tesla 2023 Lineup: Models And Changes Overview

The Tesla Cybertruck’s launch has been delayed again. New swivel base for Model S and Model X touchscreens. More powerful microchips for Model 3 and Model Y. With...

Volkswagen May Team Up with Foxconn to Build Scout Vehicles

Taiwanese Foxconn is currently building the Lordstown Endurance pickup. Volkswagen announced the return of the Scout brand last May. Volkswagen is actively shopping for...

The 2023 Honda Pilot will Start at $50,650 in Canada

The new Pilot will be offered in five trim levels. Every new Pilot comes with an expanded suite of driver assistance features and...

Ford and Lincoln will be Absent from Every Canadian Car Show in 2023

The automaker mentions the fast pace of changes in the automotive industry to justify its decision. Car shows have been declining in popularity...
  • FILED UNDER
  • GM
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.