General Motors broke ground for a new Performance and Racing Center (GMPRC) in Pontiac, Michigan as part of a $200 million investment announced last January. The new facility will consolidate and centralize race engine, electric motor, and gear research to one location.
The GMPRC facility, which will open in mid-2015 and house about 400 employees, will foster collaboration and idea exchange between racing and production engineers. “Connecting our race engineers with our global powertrain engineering teams will improve our customers’ powertrains in terms of efficiency, reliability, and durability,” said General Motors global powertrain vice president Steve Kiefer in a statement.
A staff of around 100 from the existing race engineering facility in Wixom, Michigan will move to the Pontiac location when it opens next year. Racing engineers at the Pontiac GMPRC will focus on powertrain development for various racing series. The facility will also house an electric motor lab working on electric and hybrid initiatives, while the gear center designs, studies, and tests the next generation of General Motors transmissions.
The move could prove crucial for General Motors, which will look to replicate a strategy other manufacturers have initiated to trickle down racing technology and research to production cars. Notable examples include Audi and Porsche, which have already confirmed possible production applications for LMP1 fuel-efficiency and aerodynamic technologies.