Bentley Motors recently announced its new, state-of-the-art Engineering Test Centre has commenced operations after receiving official approval from Britain’s Vehicle Certification Agency. Based at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, England, this latest investment follows the recent recertification by the Carbon Trust marking three years as a carbon-neutral site.
The move is a major stepping stone in meeting the standards set by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the achievement will allow Bentley to carry out in-house emissions, fuel economy and electric range testing to the highest global standards, all from the Test Centre that has been christened, 33 Pyms Lane. It is also a further endorsement of the stringent test regime now in place at the company’s manufacturing headquarters, where all Bentley cars are hand-built.
The independent authority certification represents another major step forward in the company’s drive towards electrification, a key pillar in Bentley’s Beyond100 strategy to become the world’s most sustainable, luxury automotive manufacturer. Crucially, the £12.5 million centres will allow Bentley to carry out the latest WLTP* fuel consumption and efficiency test procedures more swiftly in-house.
The two-storey, 4,600 square metres facility was completed on schedule and will begin testing immediately, building up operations to meet all global emission standards by the middle of 2022. The new structure includes 773 square metres of office space, as well as 1,550 square metres created for the installation of a climate-controlled chassis dynamometer.
This highly-advanced rolling road allows engineers to simulate different gradients of the hill, measuring exhaust emissions from combustion engine cars, or electrical energy consumption from hybrid and future electric models. The ‘real world’ simulations can also be completed across a range of temperatures, from -20C to +50C
Bentley’s Technical Conformity department, responsible for the compliance of all Bentley products, will be based at the new centre. There will also be a dedicated laboratory to run Real Driving Emissions (RDE) using the latest, state-of-the-art portable emissions measurement systems. In total, the new facility will house 100 Bentley colleagues.
Dr Matthias Rabe, Member of the Board for Engineering, commented:
“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.”