Bentley starts work on building a new engineering test facility at its expanding U.K. headquarters.
The luxury automaker expects to see the new building completed by autumn 2020 at its traditional base in Crewe, Cheshire, about 190 miles (306 km) northwest of London. The new center is the latest phase in ongoing development at the Pyms Lane site where all Bentley cars are hand-built.
The two-story center will cover more than 4,600 sq.-ft. (49,500 sq.-m) and include 1,550 sq.-ft. (16,700 sq.-m) designed for the installation of a climate-controlled chassis dynamometer operating across a range of temperatures from -50° F (-10° C) to +104° F (+40° C).
A dedicated laboratory for running Real Driving Emissions will use portable emissions measurement systems. Bentley’s Technical Conformity department will be based in the test center with more than 100 employees.
The automaker hopes the facility will help it meet customer demand for both internal-combustion and electrified powertrains, the latter seen for the first time in the brand with the Bentayga Hybrid SUV. Bentley has confirmed will offer hybrid or electric variants of all of its models by 2023.
In line with its stated environmental sustainability goals, workers replanted 10 fruit trees on the neighboring site of Bentley’s flagship showroom concept, CW1 House, before work on the new building began.