Jean-Martin Folz, Chief Executive Officer of PSA Peugeot Citroën, Louis Schweitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Renault group and Laurence Paye-Jeanneney, President of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM), today inaugurated two automobile aeroacoustic wind tunnels. Among those attending the opening ceremony were Francis Mer, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry, Nicole Fontaine, Alternate Minister of Industry, Jean-Paul Huchon, President of the Ile-de-France Regional Council and Franck Borotra, President of the Yvelines General Council.

The inauguration comes two years after PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault and CNAM founded Souffleries Aéroacoustiques Automobiles (S2A), a consortium designed to establish a centre of excellence for automobile aerodynamics in France.

The two wind tunnels are located at a site adjoining CNAM's Aerotechnical Institute (IAT) in Saint-Cyr l'Ecole, western Paris. The wind tunnels reproduce the various aerodynamic and aeroacoustic phenomena to which vehicles are subjected, offering modern, effective testing resources to help engineers cut fuel consumption and improve safety. Other aims are to improve acoustic comfort inside the cabin, and reduce vehicle noise. Public and private research laboratories thus gain access to a French automobile aerodynamics centre with the status of a "Centre National de Recherche Technologique" (CNRT).

The first full-size wind tunnel will be used for aerodynamic and aeroacoustic testing. It is equipped with a rotating table, a moving platform and a system for rotating car wheels. The second wind tunnel, built on a 2/5 scale, will be used solely for aerodynamic testing.

The S2A project required initial investment of over €36 million, including €32 million financed two-thirds by PSA Peugeot Citroën and Renault and one-third by the French government (Ministries of Industry, Research and New Technologies, Ile-de-France Regional Council and Yvelines General Council).