Aston Martin is cementing its long relationship with the famous Nurburgring motor racing circuit in Germany by opening a dedicated test centre there.
The Warwickshire manufacturer of high-powered GT cars has used the 14-mile long circuit in the Eiffel Mountains to pressure test both its road and racing cars for some time.
Its engineers previously shared a Jaguar testing facility, but since the business was bought out of Ford's Premier Automotive Group by a Kuwaiti-backed consortium last year Aston Martin decided to develop its own centre.
Work has begun on converting an existing building at Meuspath next to the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit which is expected to be operational by the end of May.
It follows the opening two months ago of a new design studio at Aston Martin's base at Gaydon.
Aston Martin, which has a long pedigree of motor racing success at the Nurburgring, has used the legendary circuit extensively for
testing and developing ride and handling characteristics as well as tyres, brakes and cooling systems, over recent years.
All new models are also subjected to a 10,000km high speed sign-off test on the gruelling circuit.
The Gaydon company said yesterday the facility will enhance these activities and provide a secure, permanent base for the company's engineering and development
team, while also allowing opportunities for customer activities in the future.
Chief executive Dr Ulrich Bez, said: "When we open the Aston Martin Nurburgring test centre at the end of May, this will be our second major new facility in less than 12 months since new ownership.
"The Nurburgring has played a vital part in improving the performance and durability of all modern Aston Martins. Our new test centre will allow us to further increase the performance of our cars and to share something of the unique Nordschleife experience with our customers."
The company, which is building on record sales in 2007, will see its new DBS model starring in the new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace.