An Insider Look at Porsche's Incredible Test Track

Porsche's Incredible Test Track

Most auto lovers know a bit about the production process—how a car is conceptualized, designed then made into several clay models before being manufactured. But what about the testing process? Many people forget that before a car can go onto the market, it has to go through a series of experiments so auto experts can see how they handle extreme temperatures, less-than-perfect roads, and of course, high speeds.

The Nardo Ring in southern Italy is one of the best testing facilities in the world, where some of autos biggest names in supercars come to test their new makes at top speeds. If you’d be interested in working at a similar facility after graduating from auto mechanic school, read on to learn a little bit about what sort of exciting tests take place at this world-class track.

History of the Nardo Ring Testing Track

Those visiting the boot of Italy would never suspect that among the farms, vineyards and grazing animals they’d be hearing Lamborghinis and Porsches zoom by at 200 miles an hour! First built by Fiat in 1975, the Nardo Ring (named for the nearby town of Nardo) was bought by Porsche back in 2012. The track circles a distance of 12.5 kilometers, making the Nardo Ring actually visible from space! Although the track is owned by Porsche, any automaker can use the track for testing purposes—for a fee of course.

20 Tracks for Automotive Experts to Test On

The Nardo Ring consists of 20 expertly crafted tracks, all designed for different testing purposes. The outermost ring is the highest speed track, with an outer lane that’s banked at 12 degrees. Students pursuing auto careers might know that this makes it so at high speeds, drivers actually don’t even have to turn the steering wheel. In fact, a car can technically drive “straight” for hours on end!

The Nardo Ring also consists of a 3.9 mile-long track with 16 curves, designed specifically to test tire quality. There’s also a track with lacerations on the pavement, which helps auto manufacturers test how a car’s tires will handle extreme situations, such as rocky roads. There’s even a track that helps automakers predict how a car will handle low-friction surfaces such as icy pavements.

Famous Cars Tested at the Nardo Ring

Anyone interested in pursuing an automotive career might have caught the season 18 episode of Top Gear where they took a Lamborghini Aventador, a Noble M600 and a McLaren MP4-12C to the Nardo Ring for a race. Out of the three, the fastest car was the Noble M600, which managed to make it up to 204.8 miles per hour on the Nardo track.

As for endurance records, Volkswagen takes home that title with their W12 Nardo prototype. This vehicle, which has only ever been released privately and as a concept car, travelled 7,749.4 km in total, with an average speed of 322.89km/h.

Other automakers, such Aston Martin, Jaguar, Ford and BMW have also all tested out their high-speed supercars at the Nardo Ring.

Would you like to work at a test track for supercars after you graduate from mechanic college?

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