Commercial Reality

If you catch this Lexus ES commercial: You might think to yourself, “Yes, that’s nice—but obviously something put together by some movie wizards in a studio.” The commercial undoubtedly includes some magic from the Team One advertising agency and Motion Theory production company, but that is a real wind tunnel being used.

If you catch this Lexus ES commercial:

You might think to yourself, “Yes, that’s nice—but obviously something put together by some movie wizards in a studio.”

The commercial undoubtedly includes some magic from the Team One advertising agency and Motion Theory production company, but that is a real wind tunnel being used. It is the 180 mph rolling road tunnel at Windshear Inc. in Concord, North Carolina, which is owned by Haas Automation.

The “road” is a continuous stainless steel belt that’s 10.5-ft. wide and 29.5-ft. long. It can accelerate to its top speed of 180 mph in just 60 seconds. The belt is instrumented so that the aerodynamic downforce of each tire can be measured during testing.

Given the location of the facility and Stewart-Haas Racing, yes, it is used extensively for testing vehicles that run in NASCAR, as well as for other automotive applications (it operates 10 hours a day, five days a week)—including commercials.