The Aston Martin test center located adjacent to the famous Nürburgring circuit is a testament to the marque’s racing prowess and commitment to tireless development of new and existing product. The DBS, DB9, V8 Vantage and V12 Vantage and Rapide are the most rigorously tested Aston Martins in the brand’s history. A key part of the sign-off process for all new models is a 10,000km Nürburgring durability test.
The Nürburgring, once christened “the Green Hell” by Jackie Stewart is often referred to as the “toughest test track of all” due to its 73 corners, unforgiving cambers, variance in road surface and notoriously fickle weather. It is the perfect place to push test vehicles to the very limit and the ultimate benchmark for sports car manufacturers.
With Aston Martin engineers now testing cars at the Nürburgring for 16 weeks every year, it made perfect sense when an opportunity arose to purchase a building in Meuspath located opposite the Döttinger Höhe main straight in February 2008 to create Aston Martin’s first purpose-built test facility. As an example of Aston Martin’s agility; with commitment from the shareholders, the purchase was completed in just five weeks after board approval. Building work started one week later on the 17th February 2008 to convert the building. The conversion was completed on the 10th May – just 12 weeks later.
The existing structure was modified to create a modern fresh technical feel using advanced fabrics to cover the building. Inside, the fixtures and fittings were brought up to date conforming to the latest Aston Martin Corporate Identity. The whole conversion was conducted re-using as many original materials as possible to reduce waste. The grand-opening took place on the 20th May on the eve of the 36th Nürburgring 24 Hour Race.
The 2400m2 (26,000sq ft.) building is split into three main areas – an engineering testing area and vehicle workshop as well as a dedicated facility to tend the Aston Martin’s European press fleet with a total of six inspection ramps. The internal space has been designed to be fully flexible to accommodate race events, track experiences and even vehicle launches. Downstairs a reception area and showroom conforming to Aston Martin’s instantly recognisable corporate identity welcomes guests to explore the current product range.
Upstairs; offices, conference facilities and a lounge area enable customers to relax while a balcony serves as a vantage point to view work being carried out on vehicles in the workshop area below. The upper environment takes advantage of natural light to reduce electricity consumption. The test centre will also serve to welcome Aston Martin’s race car customers ranging from a DBR9 in the GT1 category or a Vantage N24 in the GT4 category, the facility can accommodate any team large or small.