Mahle has opened its new Worldwide Harmonised Light Duty test procedure (WLTP) and Real Driving Emissions (RDE)-capable test centre (RDEC) in Northampton in the UK.

The commissioning of the RDEC marks a step in the expansion of Mahle Powertrain's capabilities in the development and certification of vehicles with internal combustion engines and hybrid powertrains. "We are consolidating Mahle Powertrain's position as one of the leading development service providers in the area of conventional and electrified drive systems," said Mahle Group CEO, Jorg Stratmann.

For his part, Mahle Powertrain engineering director, Simon Reader added: "The shortage of suitable test facilities is an issue of concern within the industry.

"Thanks to our new RDE Test Centre we are taking the pressure off our customers and at the same time expanding our own capacities in order to remain one step ahead of our competitors."

The Mahle RDEC, supplemented by two certified RDE test tracks, is capable of simulating the entire WLTP test cycle on a 4WD chassis dynamometer. The alternating altitudes specified by the WLTP are created by a pressure chamber which encompasses the entire test bench.

This can simulate environments at altitudes of up to 5,000 metres. It is also capable of controlling and accurately maintaining air temperatures ranging from -40 to +60°C as well as headwind and humidity at specified levels.