Considering its current model range, it seems a little late to be opening a new facility for winter testing, but Jaguar Land Rover has announced a new winter test facility at International Falls in Minnesota.

In order to help with the development of its existing and future models, the facility will house cold testing chambers as well as snow covered test surfaces, a frozen lake and a concrete test rack. These should prove especially useful for the new range of all-wheel drive Jaguars that are led by the new XJ 3.0 AWD that goes on sale here this month, followed by the XF AWD in early 2013.

The center at International Falls "Joins a growing list of Jaguar Land Rover facilities in the United States and reflects the company's commercial aspirations in the US," explained Andy Goss, President of Jaguar Land Rover North America.

The choice of location was dictated by International Falls being known as one of the coldest locations in the Continental United States. Apparently, temperatures drop as low as -55? F (-48? C). Such extreme weather will allow the company's engineers to develop products in the harshest conditions anywhere in the world.

The cold weather facility joins the hot weather test facility in Phoenix, Arizona as part of JLR's global test centers.

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