The coolest test track in the world is back open for business
22 July 2019 - Autoblog
After a short break, Nardo is ready to rock once more
Maybe you haven't noticed because you're not a professional test driver, but the Nardo test facility is back open! Most test tracks and facilities are not worthy of their own slice of glory, but the Nardo ring isn't comparable to most test tracks. Volkswagen even named a sweet concept car after it, called the Nardo W12.
The high speed, circular track measures 7.8 miles in total length, and it's been owned by Porsche since 2012 (originally built by Fiat). This last shutdown lasted a long seven months and cost 35 million euros. Porsche said it worked on the asphalt for the track and also implemented what it calls "an innovative guardrail system." Additionally, Porsche says it renovated the "car dynamic platform" area, which is an area of 106,000 square meters.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the high speed test track is that it was made so that the driver doesn't have to turn the wheel, even though it's a constant turn. The banking is to thank for this interesting phenomenon. In case you weren't aware, the Porsche-owned Nardo facility is in Italy, not Germany. As makers of extremely fast cars, Porsche takes this kind of testing very seriously.
"This proving ground has always been one-of-a-kind and is now more than ever a cornerstone of the Porsche development strategy and of the vehicle testing activities in the automotive industry as a whole," says Malte Radmann, chairman of the board of directors of the Nardo Technical Center and managing director of Porsche engineering.
We can only hope that many more top speed records are soon set on the Nardo ring, especially now that it has some smooth new tarmac to tear up. The current top speed at the track was set in 1979 by a Mercedes-Benz C1 at 251 mph. Koenigsegg has the record for a production car at 242 mph in a CCR. Obviously, cars have traveled much faster than these speeds, but that's the current bar for the Nardo test ring.