Strategic development of the proving ground for future mobility testing
Nardò. An important milestone dedicated to the vehicle testing of tomorrow: The renovation of the 12.6 kilometer long iconic car circular track and car dynamic platform of the Nardò Technical Center in Apulia (Italy) was successfully finished. On Thursday, the official opening ceremony of the modernized tracks of the proving ground, that has been operated by the international engineering services provider Porsche Engineering Group GmbH, Weissach (Germany), since 2012, was held in the presence of participants from regional and local authorities as well as company representatives.
The renovation works with a total investment volume of 35 million euros lasted seven months and are part of the strategic development of the testing ground. It pursues the goal that Nardò's customers are always provided with the perfect conditions to test the vehicles of tomorrow. Besides the complex asphalting of the renowned circular track, an innovative guardrail system that has been developed by Porsche Engineering specifically for the high-speed testing activities in Nardò, was installed. The works also included the complete renovation of the car dynamic platform with an area of 106,000 square meters.
“With the modernization of the tracks, the strategic development of the Nardò Technical Center advances decisively,” says Malte Radmann, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nardò Technical Center and Managing Director of Porsche Engineering. “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.”
The development of the testing facility in Nardò is continuously ongoing. “The goal is that our customers can test the mobility of the future,” commented Antonio Gratis, Managing Director of the Nardò Technical Center. Already today, there is the opportunity to test the current and future trends in automotive development, for example the fast-charging behavior of electric vehicles, latest driver assistance systems, connected services and autonomous driving. Gratis: “There are several more extensions and renewals planned for the future. In addition, we want to promote the growth of the entire local ecosystem with the further development.”
The Nardò Technical Center, with over 20 tracks and facilities on an area of more than 700 hectares, has 90 automotive companies among its customers and employs more than 150 people. It was founded in 1975 with the construction of the car circular track and offers extensive facilities for testing and conducting trials for any conceivable phase of development. The high-speed circular track that is unique worldwide with a length of 12.6 kilometers was built to improve research and development processes by enabling vehicles to be tested under extreme conditions. Throughout its history, the Nardò Technical Center has hosted tests of considerable importance, which in several cases have recorded records. Since 2012, the automotive testing ground has been operated by Porsche Engineering Group GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart. Engineering services for external customers are a cornerstone of the Porsche identity and an important part of Porsche. However, the public knows little about this. Porsche Engineering operates according to a policy of strict confidentiality to ensure that the product strategies and brand identities of its customers are always protected with the greatest care.