Bentley has opened the doors of its new multi-million-pound test facility in Crewe, saying it will “set new standards for automotive production” in the UK.
The two-storey, 4,600-square-metre Engineering Test Centre was completed on schedule at a cost of £12.5 million to the luxury car manufacturer.
The facility includes 773 square metres of office space, as well as 1,550 square metres that have been set aside for the installation of a climate-controlled chassis dynamometer.
In-house testing on Bentley’s cars can now begin after it received official approval from Britain’s Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA).
It means staff can perform in-house emissions, fuel economy and electric range testing “to the highest global standards”, which itself “represents another major step forward in the company’s drive towards electrification”.
Bentley also points out that the investment is “a further endorsement of the stringent test regime now in place at the company’s manufacturing headquarters”.
Key to reducing emissions as part of Bentley’s ‘Beyond100’ environmental strategy is the dynamometer – a highly-advanced rolling road that allows engineers to simulate different gradients of hill to measure exhaust emissions from combustion-powered cars, or electrical energy consumption from hybrid and future electric models.
These ‘real world’ simulations can also be completed across a range of temperatures, from -20 degree Celsius to +50 degree Celsius for more accurate results and readings.
There will also be a dedicated laboratory to run Real Driving Emissions; this will see some of the 100-strong staff based at the test facility using the latest portable emissions measurement systems.
Bentley Engineering board member Dr Matthias Rabe said: “Today’s announcement is another key landmark in Bentley’s ongoing modernisation programme.
“It will give us the independence to test our own engines and further enhance our industry-leading manufacturing plant in Crewe, as we move towards offering electric or hybrid versions of all our models by 2024.
“The centre will also allow Bentley to meet increased demand from customers for our luxury, hand-built vehicles, including the performance-orientated Flying Spur, the Continental GT and new Bentayga,” he added.