SMMT Test Day 2023 at Millbrook Proving Ground

Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire has again hosted the annual Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Test Day, with many Northern Group members making the trek down to the unique event.

The SMMT Test Day is a rare chance for journalists, writers, videographers, and influencers from across the automotive spectrum to get access to the press offices from several brands all at once.

Not only that, the manufacturers — around 30 this year — bring along a wide range of their vehicles, giving the 300-or-so attendees a chance to drive cars in the controlled environment of Millbrook’s driving routes.

This year we saw around 150 vehicles available, with several more — some classic cars, some trucks — as static displays, and the usual driving routes that included the hill route, the high speed bowl, and the city course.

Some brands also allow cars to be driven off-site on a short route on publics roads, and there’s an off-road course available too for cars capable of dealing with it. This is, of course, all carefully marshalled.

Several also bring other attractions, including their own food and drink stands. A high point this year was Kia’s Korean food truck and the regular wood-fired pizza booth at the Stellantis stand. Nissan also had a Formula E sim racing experience, and some unusual Kit Kat flavours from its native Japan.

Of course not everyone is able to attend the main Test Day, but once again SMMT is planning regional Test Days — one in the north and one further south — as usual for later this year.