The $7.3 million facility is set for completion by August this year and will be used to lift Hyundai’s vehicle development and evaluation program to benchmark levels.
Without a proper test facility on location at the Nurburgring, Hyundai was forced to rent less secure garage space – leaving the Korean maker’s new products exposed during testing to legions of spy photographers.
Covering four floors and 3622 square metres, and including several workshops, office space and a VIP hospitality area, the facility will be finished in a unique exterior glass and metallic finish.
CarAdvice was afforded an exclusive tour of the building this week with Hyundai Motor Group Vehicle Test & Development Manager, Dr Farhad Yousefi-Hashtyani.
He said the new centre would be distinctive among those manufacturers already running a permanent base at the Nurburgring.
“Our test drivers will be able to access the drive-in, drive-out workshops by remote control using their smart phones, while the ramp leading to the bottom garage will be heated to minimise moisture in the garages,” Dr Yousefi-Hashtyani said.
The new test facility also means that Hyundai’s current R&D centre in Russelsheim, Germany – home to the company’s European powertrain, tuning and evaluation divisions – will all have easy access to the Nurburgring, enabling them to complete a greater number of vehicle assessments each year.
Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, believes the new test facility will lift testing capacity and overall vehicle quality across the group.
“Quality is one of Hyundai’s core values and it’s key to achieving customer satisfaction,” he said. “The Nurburgring is the ultimate location to test vehicle durability, and we’re able to apply what we learn there to all of our vehicle development projects.”
“Our new facility will increase our testing capacity, bringing direct benefits to our customers in terms of vehicle quality and performance”, added Rushforth.
That additional capacity for testing will enable Hyundai to complete accelerated durability tests on 11 vehicles, as well as tuning steering, suspension, ride and handling characteristics during 2013.