Bentley Motors’ new £12.5m engineering test centre has begun operations after winning official approval from the Vehicle Certification Agency.
The luxury vehicle manufacturer said the certification from the independent authority was another major step forward in its drive towards electrification.
Bentley added that it would now be able to carry out the latest WLTP fuel consumption, emissions and electric range testing more swiftly in-house at its Crewe base.
The two-storey, 4,600 sq m state-of-the-art centre – christened 33 Pyms Lane and housing 100 Bentley staff – will increase operations to meet all global emission standards by the middle of 2022.
It includes 1,550 sq m for a climate-controlled chassis dynamometer – a rolling road that will let engineers simulate different gradients of hill, measuring emissions from combustion engine cars or electrical energy consumption from hybrid and future electric models, at temperatures ranging from -20C to +50C.
The investment follows Bentley’s recertification by the Carbon Trust marking three years as a carbon-neutral site.
Bentley’s Technical Conformity department will be based there, and there will also be a dedicated laboratory for real driving emissions.
Matthias Rabe, board member for engineering, 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.’