Opel Celebrates 50 Years of Rodgau-Dudenhofen Test Center

Open House: Opel expects up to 20,000 guests on September 10 / Rally destination: Klassik Tour Kronberg with stop at proving grounds / Behind-the-scenes look: What fans and visitors have always wanted to know

The Opel Test Center celebrates 50 years of testing and development to the limit of endurance on September 10 (lifePR) ( Rüsselsheim/Rodgau-Dudenhofen, )
70 kilometers of test tracks, numerous test and development benches and an average of 40,000 kilometers driven per day. For exactly 50 years now, Opel engineers have tested every new model to its performance limits in Rodgau-Dudenhofen, covering a total of 200 million kilometers in the process. But what actually happens on the 2.8 square kilometer grounds mostly remained a mystery to the public – until now. To commemorate this special anniversary, the automaker is opening its test and development center to employees, fans and all friends of the brand. On September 10, visitors can take an exclusive look behind the scenes at the testing site. Opel expects up to 20,000 guests including well-known athletes, politicians and businesspeople. A special highlight is the Klassik Tour Kronberg’s stop at the grounds, with Opel CEO Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann leading the way.

“September 10 will be a totally new experience for the Opel Test Center,” says Vice President Vehicle Engineering at Opel, William F. Bertagni. “Over five decades, the site has grown into Opel’s largest and most important test center in Europe. We are looking forward to celebrating this anniversary with our guests, to giving them a look behind the scenes while again demonstrating how exciting and approachable our brand is.”

“Action” aplenty: Rally vehicles, racing cars and classic vehicles

The grounds will be open on Saturday, September 10, from 10 am to 4 pm. The hub of action will be the new, recently completed Skid Pad. The nearly 80,000 square meter area and two kilometer long straightaway leading from it will enable tests for automated driving, among other things, in future – now for one day, they will be an event area. The main stage and catering will be located here, and many activities will take place in the central area. The classic car rally, Klassik Tour Kronberg, is stopping in Rodgau-Dudenhofen for the first time, where it will complete two special stages on the testing grounds. First up is the high-speed circular track, and for a special test, the rally drivers will switch over to the new Opel Astra, the Car of the Year 2016. For about an hour during lunch, visitors can take an up-close look at the shiny chrome rally vehicles.

“Action“ is also Opel Motorsport’s motto: professional race car drivers show what the GTC OPC, ADAM R2 and Astra TCR can deliver when they compete in the VLN Endurance Racing Championship and rallies. The guests almost feel like they are at the Hockenheimring, because for the demonstrations of various driver trainings that regularly take place in Rodgau-Dudenhofen, a special parcours will be built in the event arena. And the Formula Student teams supported by Opel that are participating in the world’s largest student motorsport competition are also taking part in the anniversary celebration event.

Then it’s about the visitors themselves getting active in the black-and-yellow BVB event area covering 700 square meters. Opel’s partner club Borussia Dortmund offers young Opel fans dexterity competitions and games from football golf and fowling to mini Opel ADAM races. And for up-and-coming test drivers, the Dudenhofen team even recreated some of its most exciting tests in miniature format. Those who successfully master the mini torture track can look forward to a real certificate as a recognized test driver. And classic car fans will have plenty to admire at the Alt Opel IG, which will exhibit around 200 automotive treasures from all the decades. In addition, many classic and vintage vehicles from the Opel Classic treasure trove will be shown all over the plant premises.

Unusual insights: Discover the Test Center’s “hidden” corners

Everyone who wants a closer look at the test tracks otherwise hidden from prying eyes has the unique opportunity to take a sightseeing tour on September 10: the high-speed circuit, mountain track and torture track are just a few of the torments Opel cars are usually subject to. The Rodgau-Dudenhofen fire brigade is also on site to keep an eye on everything. Not only will it show what should be done in case of fire, it will also send the “long ladder” from its truck into the sky. From these lofty heights, visitors can enjoy a spectacular birds-eye view of the Opel Test Center.

There is also much to discover in the second event area around the workshops and new buildings for the development of propulsion systems. Prototypes and concept cars are on display here next to an exhibit on the site’s evolution from proving grounds to a state-of-the-art test and development center. And the current Opel Collection offers fans plenty of articles to choose from. For those interested in employment possibilities at Opel, there is also information about training and career opportunities at the automaker.

Take the wheel: Special anniversary offer of Opel models in Rodgau-Dudenhofen

It is impossible to guess how many models have gone through rigorous testing in Rodgau-Dudenhofen. But visitors can see the results for themselves on September 10. Around 150 Opel vehicles from A like Astra to Z like Zafira will be available to test drive; there will also be an extensive exhibit of current Opel models as well as a large selection of used cars for sale at especially attractive employee rates and conditions.

Parking is available on the new “long straightaway” directly at the Opel Test Center. Should this be full, there are more parking spaces at the Rodgau public beach. Shuttle buses to the event premises will leave from there and from the S-Bahn station Rodgau-Dudenhofen. We recommend that visitors from the immediate vicinity come by bicycle. There is plenty of space to park bicycles directly at the main entrance.
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