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News of  April 25, 2001


PSA Peugeot CitroŽn strengthens test facilities with a new vehicle handling track

Paris - PSA Peugeot CitroŽn is inaugurating a new vehicle handling track at the Belchamp test center in eastern France, thus strengthening its vehicle testing and development resources.

The new facility, which represented a total investment of more than 6 million of euro, has been designed to develop intelligent assistance systems such as antilock braking (ABS), electronic stability programmes (ESP) and electronic brake force distribution (EBD).

The track comprises two separate circuits. The 1.8-kilometer wet circuit is used to simulate driving under average roadholding conditions, while the 2.16-kilometer dry circuit is used to simulate driving under excellent roadholding conditions.

Their layouts were designed using PSA Peugeot CitroŽn's Sherpa driving simulator to incorporate a wide variety of alternating curved and straight sections to replicate all conditions under which vehicles are used. In particular, they include two curves where roadholding differs on the inside and outside, a condition that can cause a large number of road accidents.

Two types of trials will be conducted on the track.

1.Subjective tests:

  • Driving under extreme conditions of use.
  • Validating brake force distribution on curves.
  • Driving under ordinary and extreme conditions for ESP, ABS and EBD systems.
  • Validating tire performance on wet surfaces. 

2.Analytical tests:

  • Active safety tests such as braking and acceleration on curves, VDA tests, braking distance and steering wheel oscillation.
  • Handling tests, for instance to determine how vehicles should best be driven on curves.
  • Certification tests such as centering and steering wheel pressure while driving.
  • ESP fine-tuning and changes in roadholding on curves. 

The track can be used at every stage of vehicle development to check parameters that were previously tested by outside manufacturers.

It is a significant addition to the existing resources at the Belchamp and La Fertť Vidame centers, which comprise 58 kilometers of track on 1,242 hectares.

Belchamp Key Figures 

  • Began operations in 1962. 
  • 1,200 employees, including 380 for the tracks. 
  • Covers 430 hectares. 
  • 30 kilometers of test track. 
  • 12 million kilometers driven in 2000.

(April 20, 2001)

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