The Nardo Ring should need no introduction, but just in case, we’ll try to do this incredible facility some justice.
A 7.8-mile loop of tarmac in southern Italy, this four-lane test track is designed so that at 149mph in the outer lane, no steering angle is needed to navigate, meaning you can effectively drive dead ahead lap after lap.
Completed in 1975 and originally owned by Fiat, it’s been used as a venue for numerous records and endurance feats. It’s tricky to pick a favourite, but we’d lean towards the VW Nardo concept’s 4800-mile 24-hour run, completed at a very ridiculous average speed of 200mph.
The outer test track has been looking a little worse for wear in recent years, with the decaying asphalt proving not especially kind to the cars being tested there. It’s looking much fresher now though, as Porsche Engineering Group GmbH - having purchased the facility in 2012 and renamed it the ‘Nardò Technical Center’ - has just spend €35 million doing the place up.
Over the course of seven months, the world-famous loop was resurfaced, and also treated to a new “innovative guardrail system,” Porsche says. Nardo is far more than just the outer ring, with the 7.8-mile track encompassing over 20 test circuits and areas, one of being a 106,000 square-meter ‘dynamic platform. It too has been subjected to a “complete renovation”.
Nardo will continue to be used by a huge variety of car companies, with Porsche Engineering Group - which is owned by Porsche AG - currently having a roster of 90 customer firms which frequent the facility.