Text: Vince Pornelos / Photos: Porsche, Google Earth | posted April 12, 2012 12:14
High speed engineering
When car manufacturers, specifically performance car manufacturers wish to test their products, they usually head on over to the Nurburgring to get a benchmark. Being such a hotbed of automotive testing, the Nordschleife has some unusual challenges, especially when it comes to spy photographers snapping away at still secret products in development.
Porsche won't have that problem now, as they have just taken over (from Prototipo SpA) the Nardo Ring; a 4-lane, 12.5 kilometer banked oval track with a 6.2 kilometer infield handling course north of Nardo, Italy. The Nardo test track has a land area of 700 hectares and is undoubtedly one of the largest testing facilities in the world. The facility also has various surfaces to simulate different road conditions.
Prior to the purchase of Nardo, Porsche has been using their track at their plant in Weissach, Germany for testing purposes. Ferrari have their own track, the Fiorano circuit, within their factory grounds for testing, while Volkswagen (of which Porsche is also a part of) owns the Ehra-Lessien test track, with its extremely long straights, in Germany.
“The Nardò proving ground with its high-speed and vehicle handling circuit ideally complements our facilities in Weissach. With the systematic development of the company in Nardò as part of Strategy 2018, Porsche is proving to be a reliable employer and business partner in Apulia as well,” said Matthias Müller, President and CEO of Porsche AG.
Porsche says that together with the Porsche Development Centre, the Porsche Engineering Group is offering development expertise to automotive clients at Nardo.