The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tyres

By Attila Nagy on at

Spanning over more than 1,700 acres, the Ivalo Testing Center, or as they call it, “White Hell”, is the place where Finland’s snow tire maker, Nokian Tyres, tests their winter tires in extreme conditions, using over 20 different snowy or icy test tracks, including the world largest indoor ice rink.

Over the Arctic circle, deep in the Laplandic forests hides the testing complex; the biggest and most complex facility in the winter tire industry, and this photo below shows only a fraction of it.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Aerial photo: Nokian Tyres

(Full disclosure: Nokian wanted to show us what they and their Hakkapeliitta R2 winter tyre can do at White Hell so much, that they flew us to Lapland to their test range)

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Here’s a view of the road to the test facility.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

The gate of White Hell. Workers can open it from a distance, dialling a phone number.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

A Volkswagen Golf GTI equipped with snow ploughs.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

During the countless test rides they compare their own products to the competitors’ tyres.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

One of the test tracks:

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

On the several metres thick ice of a frozen lake:

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Driving on ice. “These guys go way beyond the grip limit on a daily basis,” says Máté.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Snow groomer (aka piste basher) for serious snow removing and manipulating.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Weather station near an icy test circle.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

After every test run comes the groomer, to restore the snow, providing equal testing conditions for every tyres.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Close up of the insect-like face of a snow weary piste-basher.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Car consuming landscape.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Petri Paananen, handling driver, a Vbox performance meter, lap timer and data-logger (in the left corner of the windshield) and other super accurate devices in his test car do the same things over and over again until they end up with consistent results.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Far away is a very long building.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Which is actually an almost 3,300 feet long hangar.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Which hides the longest indoor ice track I have ever seen.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

They can still test tyres on this lengthy artificial ice track when weather is too harsh outside.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Looks stunning.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Steel and ice in unity.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

I would like to skate at high speed all day long here.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Testing in a mild blizzard.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

A long snow handling track prepared for testing.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Tracks in the snow.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Leaving White Hell.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Twelve o’clock over the Arctic circle.

The Gorgeous White Hell Where They Test Your Winter Tires

Low noon, long shadows, golden snow. Lapland.

(Photo: Attila Nagy/Gizmodo)