UK’s first Real Driving Emissions Centre gathers pace

Northampton, January 18, 2018 - The next stage in the development of the UK’s first Real Driving Emissions Centre (RDEC) is complete, after MAHLE Powertrain took delivery of a new four-wheel drive chassis dynamometer. The product, manufactured and supplied by HORIBA UK, enables MAHLE to conduct fully certified vehicle emissions tests to all the latest international standards, including the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

Inside the RDE Chamber

MAHLE’s new RDEC is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2018 and further enhances the company’s RDE expertise. The new VULCAN II four-wheel-drive XtraCold chassis dynamometer forms part of a wider £7.5m investment into the facility, enabling MAHLE to test 4WD vehicles up to a weight of five tonnes, with a power rating of up to 450 KW and speeds of up to 190km/h. The dynamometer has a climatic range of -40 °C to +60 °C and is capable of testing front, rear and four-wheel drive vehicles.


MAHLE’s investment into the development of its global Real Driving Emissions Centre was a proactive move, pre-empting the introduction of WLTP. The new standard has been introduced to enforce vehicle manufacturers to test emissions based on the simulation of real-world driving conditions, with more time spent at higher speeds and loads, in addition to aggressive acceleration and braking phases.


The company’s new 4WD chassis dynamometer enables MAHLE to work with vehicle OEMs to carry out fuel economy tests, performance mapping and quality testing in a wide range of simulated environments.


Derek Wise, chief engineer, build and test, at MAHLE Powertrain, commented: “The 4WD dynamometer enables us to further expand our capability for emissions testing, allowing us to provide a service that fully complies with WLTP standards. For UK-based manufacturers, it means that engines can be thoroughly tested to the highest standards without leaving the country, shortening lead times, costs and helping the UK retain its reputation for automotive engineering excellence.”


Ana Anyaeji, HORIBA UK Sales Manager, added: “We are honoured to be continuing our long-standing partnership with MAHLE Powertrain in such an innovative and challenging project. We have been working closely with MAHLE for the past two decades and this commitment by both companies to advancing Real Driving Emission testing capability will see that relationship grow and strengthen over the coming years.   This will be the first application within the UK of the Vulcan II in a variable barometric environment and will showcase the full performance and accuracy capabilities of the Vulcan product line.”