Nardo Technical Centre Turns 40

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The iconic Nardo Technical Centre in Apulia, Italy, celebrated its 40th anniversary this week, with owners Porsche reflecting on its history.

What makes Nardo so special is its unique circular layout, and since July 01, 1975, this has allowed it to be used to thoroughly test new cars and break numerous speed records.

First used by Fiat, the centre has been transferred to different owners of the years, all of which have expanded the site in some way. Porsche Engineering Group took control of Nardo in 2012.

Nardo allows manufacturers to recreate almost any imaginable situation in order to evaluate their cars to incredible detail. High transportation costs can be avoided as Nardo’s variety of test tracks mimic every road surface and climate necessary.

Over the years, the 12.6 km track has broken many records. In 1979, Mercedes-Benz used their C111-IV to break the 400 km/h barrier for the first time, for instance. A few years later, Porsche set a 24 hour record for average speed with the 928 S, but this has been broken since then, most notably by Volkswagen’s W12 Nardo concept car in 2002. It covered 7740.576km in 24 hours with an impressive average speed of 322.891 km/h

“The Nardo Technical Center ideally supplements our testing and research facilities at the Weissach Development Center with the big advantage that we can test our sports cars 365 days a year in Nardo thanks to the mild climate”, says Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board, Research and Development at Porsche AG. “These unique conditions are a valuable resource for efficient vehicle testing for the whole automotive industry.”

“On the testing ground the whole range of testing services is already available to our customers”, says Malte Radmann, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche Engineering Group.

“But that’s not all: in the next few years we have extensive expansion and modernisation plans to meet the development requirements of the future.”

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Jake covers sportscars for The Checkered Flag, mainly Tudor United SportsCar Championship and World Endurance Championship, along with a variety of other series including World Rally Championship.
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