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Dear Readers,

18 40 years of the Nardò proving ground: 40 years of test-

17 13 ing, innovation, and top performances. We’re delighted
to be able to celebrate this anniversary together with you.

6 Ever since the Nardò Technical Center was founded in

5 9 1975, the test center has been continuously upgraded and
16 15 enhanced. Much has changed over the years—and yet in
8 spite of all the innovations, the Nardò Technical Center
12 has maintained its tradition: the tradition of comprehen-
sive vehicle testing, openness to all customers, and the
tradition of always being a reliable partner.

But we’ve kept one tradition above all: advancement.

We’ve always striven to identify and prepare ourselves for
the challenges of tomorrow and beyond. So 40 years ago
we opened the groundbreaking circular track and today
1 we’re preparing for the development tasks of the future.

The anniversary year is marked by this exciting com-

bination of tradition, many years of experience, and a
forward-looking orientation—and that’s exactly what we
want to present in the articles and images in the follow-
ing pages.

We would like to thank all of our customers, friends, and

business partners for their loyalty through the years. We
look forward to many more years of successful collabora-
tion and hope you enjoy this issue.

1  Car Circular Track  2  Lorry Circular Track  3  Handling Track  4  Car Dynamic Platform 
5  Lorry Dynamic Platform  6  Curbstone Area  7  Low Friction Area  8  Noise Track  9  Special Pavements Track 
10  Strada Bianca Off-Road  11  Dust & Gravel Oval  12  Africa Road  13  Tire Laceration Road  Francesco Nobile Edmund Sander
14  Cross Country Road  15  Off-Road Slopes  16  Mud Road  17  Concrete Slopes  18  Rolling Track Management, Nardò Technical Center

2 Nardò Technical Center –  40 Years Nardò Technical Center – 40 Years 3

Then as now. one of a kind.
The Nardò Technical Center.
Porsche 918 Spyder
CO2 emissions

(combined): 72 (70*) g/km
Fuel consumption
(combined): 3.1 (3.0*) l/100 km;
Power consumption
(combined): 12.7 kWh/100 km
Efficiency class: A+
* 918 Spyder with Weissach package

The Nardò Technical Center (NTC) in Porsche Engineering, the NTC is a re-

Destination: Future. the Italian region of Apulia has enjoyed a

legendary reputation for some 40 years.
Remotely located in one of Italy’s quieter
liable partner for many vehicle manu-
facturers worldwide: as a development
partner throughout the entire process
New roads being opened up through innovation areas, many carmakers take advantage of vehicle testing on the way to series-
of the unique testing conditions here. production maturity.
The most famous of these is undoubt-
edly the 12.6-kilometer circular track for
high-speed drives. Many speed records More than just asphalt:
 ____ Nardò: for the first time, the vehicle prototype demonstrates have been set on this track by various
what it can do on the road—a big moment for the developers. Not on vehicle manufacturers.
intelligent testing services
public roads where everyone can see, but in the closed test center; a
painstaking process of alternating driving tests and development steps Yet Nardò has much more to offer. With From driving dynamics testing and
begins to take shape. Porsche Engineering’s Nardò Technical Center more than 20 test tracks and facilities endurance tests to measurements for
offers service packages for every conceivable stage of testing. spread over more than 700 hectares, sound development, vehicle diagnos-
customers have access to a wide range tics and homologation according to
By Thomas Knoll and Katharina Hug of testing options—not least thanks to country-specific regulations—the NTC
Photos by Stefan Bogner the mild climate almost every day of is equipped with all the tracks and fa-
the year. So Nardò is more than just cilities necessary to get the job done. It
asphalt, cobblestones, and the rough fulfills the widest range of requirements
road course. Like its parent company faced by vehicle manufacturers. ›

12 Nardò Technical Center –  40 Years Nardò Technical Center – 40 Years 13

It’s also accompanied by the engineering strive to gain all required insights and driving dynamics tests on reproducibly
services of Porsche Engineering and the knowledge with fewer test repetitions rain-wet road surfaces on the sunniest
expertise gained through the develop- and developments steps—and thus of days. The great diversity of the test-
ment work of a series manufacturer. fewer resources and lower costs. For ing courses enables developers to con-
its part, Nardò’s varied range of test- duct a wide variety of tests in a single
The objective of the Nardò Technical ing and development facilities provide location in the immediate proximity of
Center and Porsche Engineering is to the ideal testing conditions. It is pos- development facilities.
offer customers optimal working con- sible, for example, to conduct tests that
ditions and even take on complete de- deliver robust data regarding the cor-
velopments tasks. The spectrum of ser- rosion resistance of a vehicle over its Ready for testing for the future
vices ranges from the simple provision entire lifecycle within just a few weeks.
of optimal testing tracks and courses,
including the associated infrastructure, Climatic conditions from different The testing of driver assistance systems
to complete packages of specific testing countries and regions can be replicated is currently a major priority in vehicle
programs. The testing services encom- here. It is also possible to test and development. Such systems are designed
pass test drives on individual tracks, on make appropriate adjustments for the to assist the driver safely in difficult
test benches or in the lab, precise record- demands of the different target markets driving situations or ease the burden of
ing, preparation and analysis of data, as in terms of robustness, driving dynam- tiresome routine tasks. “Adaptive cruise
well as expert consulting services for the ics or product lifetime. Road conditions, control,” for example, automatically
optimization of test sequences. Precisely fuels and even the traffic signs can vary maintains a safe gap to the car in front
what the customer needs. widely from country to country. With regardless of the driving situation and
its variable testing capabilities, the NTC speed. Other driver assistance systems
In the vehicle testing phase, the engi- allows customers to avoid time-consum- such as the blind-spot assistant or emer-
neers test the entire vehicle—from the ing location changes and high transport gency braking assistant with pedestrian The Nardò Technical
minor details to the major components, costs. In Nardò, vehicle manufacturers recognition can prevent dangerous eva- Center provides ev-
from the power windows, to the engine, can drive on courses that approximate sive maneuvers or carry out automatic ery option—even for
to the complete vehicle system. The African offroad conditions, or conduct emergency braking. › testing super sports
cars. Pictured here is
aim is to confirm the functionality of
the exhaust system
all elements step-by-step and to identify
with top pipes of the
and eliminate all problems that could
Porsche 918 Spyder.
occur under every conceivable set of
conditions. The engineers distinguish
Ready to go: the Porsche 918 Spyder shortly before between the principles of verification
a test drive on the proving ground. and validation. If the prototype tends
to understeer under extreme corner-
ing situations, the engineer verifies the
causes of the misbehavior in the valida-
tion process in order to eliminate the
issue—for example through optimized
wheel carrier geometry.

Efficient testing and wide-ranging options

The primary focus in vehicle testing is
on efficiently designing, optimizing and
streamlining test programs. The NTC
engineers, or “test experts,” always

14 Nardò Technical Center –  40 Years Nardò Technical Center – 40 Years 15

These innovations are developments of ties are also the result of a continuous trum of testing services. After decades
the automotive industry towards auton- Further development improvement process in the operation of of experience with customer projects,
omous driving. Such systems are highly the testing grounds. For example, two Porsche Engineering is also intensifying
safety-relevant and must be tested in all
of the proving ground unusual rescue vehicles have been added its activities on the multifaceted Chi-
situations over vast distances and dem- to the fleet. Two Porsche Cayennes nese market with location in Shanghai,
onstrate driver-friendly functionality. New track surfaces and a guardrail ensure speedy and safe deployment: one which opened at the beginning of 2015.
Nardò is optimally suited to such tests. system specially designed for the circu- vehicle as a fire extinguishing vehicle, This gives the Nardò Technical Center
The developers conduct the verification lar track in Nardò are the result of the the other for technical assistance and direct access to specific regional require-
and validation of these systems under exceptional expertise of the partners. A emergency rescue services. The always- ments and thereby improves intercul-
reproducible external conditions such new guardrail system was developed in present rescue personnel are intensively tural understanding in the process. This
as climate, road surfaces, light condi- close collaboration between the engi- trained and optimally prepared for duty knowledge and the ability to simulate
tions and traffic conditions—over many neers at the NTC and other branches during high-speed driving tests. Chinese testing conditions guarantee
kilometers of test driving and with as of Porsche Engineering. The result is European carmakers additional optimal
many test repetitions as needed or de- a completely new type of design com- The overall vehicle expertise of Porsche and efficient development options.
sired. Nardò is ideal for the simulation prised of steel beams, supporting steel Engineering, the development services
of a wide variety of traffic situations to posts and bolts. It ensures maximum provider with the OEM know-how of The Nardò Technical Center therefore
test driver assistance systems. energy absorption in case of impact. In the Porsche company, critically impacts offers a very broad spectrum of services,
combination with the new track surface, the capabilities of the Nardò Technical including complete service packages
In Porsche Engineering, the Nardò Tech- it makes the NTC’s circular track better Center with regard to the requirements that ultimately improve the perfor-
nical Center has a parent company that and, above all, even safer. of the automotive industry. With this mance of customers.  ¢
is both highly accomplished and highly kind of vehicle development expertise
service-oriented in the engineering sci- The organization and improved equip- backing it up, the Nardò testing facili-
ences. That applies equally to customer ment of the safety and emergency facili- ties are able to offer the complete spec-
projects, the transfer of technical exper-
tise from large-scale series production
as well as the continual enhancement of
the testing grounds. The trend towards
autonomous driving, for example, un-
derscores the need to adapt the vehicle
testing of the future to the technological
trends of the automotive industry. More-
over, the internationally recognized ex-
acting standards of Porsche Engineering
in terms of quality, safety and efficiency
ensure that the NTC is maintained to
optimal standards in every way.

Ready for the challenges

of the future: the Nardò
Technical Center.

16 Nardò Technical Center –  40 Years Nardò Technical Center – 40 Years 17

A Well-Rounded History Mercedes-Benz sets the
Italian land-speed record

40 years of successful testing in pictures With a 4.82-liter biturbo V8 engine and an output of
373 kW (500 hp) at 6,200 rpm, a Mercedes-Benz C111-IV
reached a speed of 403.978 km/h. On May 5th, 1979, chief
engineer Hans Liebold drove a “flying lap” in the car on the
Nardò circular track in 1:57 minute.

19 80

Founding of the test center

The test center was inaugurated as the safety standards
“Corporation for Automobile Test Tracks
Nardò” (“Società Autopiste Sperimentale With the installation of “anti-dozing bumps”
Nardò”) on July 1st, 1975. At the time, (stone bumps bordering the circular track), the
the circular track with lanes for cars and safety standards in Nardò were already highly
trucks, the dynamic platform for cars and advanced by 1980. The bumps ensured that drivers
the watchtower were in place. who succumbed to microsleep at the wheel would
1980 be warned if they moved off the track. Safety
continued to be the focus of ongoing enhancements
in the years to follow. In 1990, the first accident
1977 warning system was installed on the circular track
which would warn all drivers on the track in the
event that dangerous situations arose.

Niki Lauda tests a six-wheeled

Formula One Ferrari
The Ferrari 312 T2 tested by Niki Lauda
on the circular track on March 13th, 1977 1980
was a unique prototype. With the aim of im-
proving the car‘s aerodynamics, the Ferrari
was outfitted with six wheels—with four
front wheels mounted on the rear axle.
ARVW posts six class records
and two world records
Over five meters long, with a top speed
1977 of 360 km/h, just 13.6 liters of fuel con-
sumption per 100 kilometers at top speed
and space for just one person: meet the
ARVW (Aerodynamik Research Volks­
wagen), which in September 1980 set
six class speed records and two world
speed records on the track in Nardò.

Construction of the lorry dynamic platform

1982: Just a few years after its opening, the test center was expanded to
include a dynamics platform for trucks. The platform itself encompassed
an area of 175 x 150 meters. Two acceleration and run-off lanes were
built adjacent to the platform.

18 Nardò Technical Center – 40 Years Nardò Technical Center – 40 Years 19

2002 Additional test tracks for testing driving
comfort and sound development
1994 The courses with special pavements opened in 2002
World record with the fastest were an important expansion of the testing grounds.
natural gas vehicle by Bugatti Over a distance of 1.15 kilometers, 8-meter-wide
sections of different surfaces were laid for optimal
Reaching a speed of 344.7 km/h, in July 1994 the testing of vehicle comfort. Another new feature is the
Bugatti EB110 GT set a new world speed record noise track with a special surface for measuring the
for street-legal natural gas vehicles. noise of passing vehicles.


Bertone Z.E.R.
(Zero Emissions Record) Opening of the handling track
Shaped like a cigar, just barely shoulder width, The new handling track was opened to great
electrically powered and with a top speed of over fanfare on June 5th, 2008. Modeled on the
300 km/h—the brainchild of Oscar De Vita, a student Nürburgring, the dynamic track, with its
at the Polytechnic University of Milan. The vehicle 16 corners and a 6.2 km straightaway, offers
was ultimately further developed and built together views of the Gulf of Taranto (Ionian Sea) in
with Bertone. In 1994, De Vita broke the flying kilo- some sections. The handling track is recognized
meter record in Nardò with a speed of 303.977 km/h. by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de
l’Automobile) and offers optimal conditions
for driving dynamics testing.
1999 2012

Acquisition 2012
by Prototipo
After 24 years, the testing and
trial grounds were taken over by
2000 the Prototipo Group. Founded
in Piedmont in 1991, the testing Porsche Engineering takes over
service provider significantly the Nardò Technical Center
expanded its range of testing
equipment with the acquisition of In May 2012, Porsche Engineering, the engineering
the Nardò Technical Center. services subsidiary of Porsche AG, took over the Nardò
Technical Center. The test center in the south of Italy
expanded the service portfolio of Porsche Engineering—
with over 80 years of experience in the field of
2000 engineering services both for the automotive industry
and other sectors—in ideal fashion.

The testing grounds celebrate their 40th anniversary

Construction of additional On its 40th anniversary, the Nardò Technical Center is looking fresher and
more dynamic than ever: the resurfacing of the asphalt on the circular track
workshop buildings
and other test tracks is well under way. The safety standards at the complex
To keep pace with the ever-increasing number are also being further improved. In addition to the newly installed, highly
of customers, in 2000 Prototipo built four new innovative guardrail on the circular track, major investments are also being
workshop buildings. The newly built workshop made in the emergency infrastructure, including new vehicles. Many more
and office space for customers amounted to developments are in the works as well: extensive expansion and renovation
some 5,000 m2. plans are slated for the coming years to ensure that customer demands can
always be met in full in the future as well.

20 Nardò Technical Center – 40 Years Nardò Technical Center – 40 Years 21

Francesco Nobile

He knows the Nardò Technical Center like

the back of his hand, including its special
features: since 2007, Francesco Nobile has
headed the proving ground and is now
the Chairman of the Executive Board and
responsible for the commercial area.


The Nardò Technical

Center has been operated
by Porsche Engineering
since its acquisition by
Porsche in 2012. Malte
Radmann, Chairman
of the Executive Board
of Porsche Engineering,
Edmund Sander has been involved in the
takeover, integration and
After many years as the head of the drivetrain department at Porsche ongoing development of
Engineering in Germany, in 2013 Edmund Sander took over as the the proving ground since
technical director of the Nardò Technical Center. the outset.

Finger on the ____ The Nardò Technical Center (NTC) has been available to the
auto­motive industry for testing for 40 years and today is fresher and

Pulse of the Age

more innovative than ever. Francesco Nobile, Edmund Sander and
Malte Radmann elaborate on the extent to which that is related to
its acquisition by Porsche in 2012, or simply reflects the tradition of
these great testing grounds.
A talk about the testing grounds of today and tomorrow
Interview: Katharina Hug  Photos by Davide Faggiano

22 Nardò Technical Center –  40 Years Nardò Technical Center –  40 Years 23
tion to the innovative developments in How does the fact that the NTC be-
vehicle testing, it’s not enough to sim- longs to Porsche benefit customers?
ply be “up to speed” with what’s go-
ing on. The dynamism of the industry Sander: The Nardò Technical Center is
makes it essential to think of tomorrow directly connected to a vehicle manu-
and beyond today. That remains our facturer and thus has a better under-
approach. standing of development processes as a
whole as well as the requirements that
How do you view the future chal- are associated with them. The custom-
lenges in vehicle testing? And how is ers definitely notice the difference.
the Nardò Technical Center preparing
itself for the future? Radmann: The improvements to the
grounds are an especially visible aspect
Edmund Sander: Topics that will cer- of this. The circular track and other
tainly be occupying us in the coming courses are currently being resurfaced.
years include the testing of driver assis- The ongoing expansion and renovation
“Thinking today of tomorrow tance systems and autonomous driving. work demonstrates that we’re not sat-
Development is making great strides in isfied with merely being “good,” but
and beyond has always been these fields. We’re already working on are, as Mr. Nobile said at the outset,
concepts for continued development of already thinking of tomorrow and be-
our approach.” the testing facilities and building on our yond to ensure that we can provide the
existing expertise in these areas. We’re best possible testing conditions.
Francesco Nobile
also continuously expanding our range
of services. Even in the traditional de- Nobile: ... and yet with all of the changes
velopment areas such as chassis tuning, taking place, I would like to emphasize
brake testing and drivetrain application, that one thing has remained the same:
we are preparing ourselves for new the diversity of customers. Just as in
challenges through planned course the past, the Nardò Technical Center
expansions and ongoing renovation remains open to all customers and is
and expansion measures for the exist- an important partner for the entire au-
ing courses and facilities. The aim is tomotive industry.
to provide the complete process chain
of “testing as an engineering service” at To what extent are the employees
The Nardò Technical Center is one pulse of the age. Even now, the Nardò the very highest level. and people living in the region around
of the most important and well-known Technical Center has retained its abili- Nardò aware of these changes?
testing centers in the world. What ty to handle a vast spectrum of highly Radmann: ... this comprehensive range
makes it so special in your opinion? exacting customer demands. of services is increasingly expected Nobile: First and foremost, there is the
by customers. Together with Porsche opportunity for new jobs, and for em-
Malte Radmann: The centerpiece of the Francesco Nobile: The Nardò Technical Engineering as an engineering services ployees the Nardò Technical Center has
testing center has always been the cir- Center has always regarded itself as a provider, we’re able to offer customers also become notably more attractive, as
cular track. Building a test track on close partner to the vehicle manufac- the execution of comprehensive testing belonging to the group has created the
this scale 40 years ago was extraordi- turers in vehicle development. Over the programs and conduct them according possibility that new career advance-
nary. All the more impressive is the fact last 40 years, the automotive industry to their requirements and to the abso- ment options could open up.
that this high-performance track, with has developed at a breakneck pace. We lute highest standards. In this process,
its size and special profile, has remai- have experienced those changes “live” the protected grounds of the NTC are Sander: Moreover, we’re already in
ned unique to this day. The test cen- and have continually adapted to the the ideal location for transitioning contact with the university in Lecce as
ter has continued to develop over the new circumstances and requirements. functions from the computer to the a possible future cooperation partner.
years and always had a finger on the But to make a significant contribu- track and make them a reality. Wherever possible, we try to support›

24 Nardò Technical Center –  40 Years Nardò Technical Center –  40 Years 25
the region and its people in their in- A few words on the anniversary
terests. Our expansion and renovation

People, Experiences,
measures are being conducted in har-
mony with the lovely natural surround-
ings here in the region.

What role do the regional conditions

play in the services of the Nardò Tech-
nical Center?
Nobile: The regional conditions—in par-
ticular the climate—are a very special Matthias Müller

factor and make us absolutely unique. Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG

I congratulate the Nardò

Many long-standing
Technical Center dearly on
customers appreciate the
its anniversary! The testing NTC is the only
friendly atmosphere.”
Edmund Sander
ground has become an
integral and fixed part of
circuit in the
the Porsche Group within world with these
a very short time. Due to the
Scarcely any other proving ground of-
fers the possibility of conducting testing
nearly 365 days a year. Routes outside
prevailing unique conditions
perfect for our
of the grounds also offer a plethora of
excellent driving opportunities. there, this proving ground
is a valuable resource for
testing activities.
Sander: Let’s not forget the kindness

efficient vehicle testing for

of the people and the Italian way of
life. Many long-standing customers ap-
preciate the friendly atmosphere that
characterizes this place.
the entire automotive industry.
Luca Vassalli
I am very proud of that! Road Testing Manager—Germany, Brembo S.p.A.
Nobile: That’s true. Here, German
precision meets Italian openness and
warm-heartedness. At the latest when
they sit down for their first Italian din-
Walter Röhrl
ner after a hard and successful day of
Former rally world champion
testing, customers are often already
planning their next visit.  ¢
The handling track is obviously very interesting to drive on, but also
really beautiful from the scenic point of view! Especially at the place
where you drive over the summit and suddenly you have an amazing
view over the Mediterranean Sea.

26 Nardò Technical Center –  40 Years Nardò Technical Center – 40 Years 27

Marcello Risi Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg
Mayor of the city of Nardò Board Member for Technical Development of Audi AG
The facilities offer Jaguar Land
Rover the opportunity to The Nardò Technical Center is one of the most important test tracks
NTC is one of the most precious meet the most extreme dynamic within Europe. When hearing the name Nardò, most of the customers
corporate realities of our city. conditions that are required probably have the circuit in mind, with its raised curves. The circuit
of any modern motor vehicle in
With its tracks and its “world- the world. The team at NTC
allows testing in the absolute high-speed sector. However, the 6.2 km-
long handling track inside of the oval should not be underestimated,
famous ring,” in the last is always prepared to offer
offering great opportunities for testers and developers as well.
40 years, the NTC has introduced extra support to ensure that the
We especially test our sports cars there. For me it is a highlight, again
schedule is met and the
Nardò and its unique customers are satisfied. There and again, to widen the boundaries of driving dynamics on the

attractions all over the world. is also a culture of continuous challenging course.
improvement which is demon-
Jewel of innovation, research, strated with the high standards
and testing, the NTC has earned of facilities and services.
40° 19´ 16˝ N
Omar Barbieri
Vehicle Testing Responsible, Maserati S.p.A.
a special place in the hearts of
Nardò’s citizens. John M. Florida
Senior Manager, Jaguar Land Rover
17° 50´ 20˝ E I have often been
at NTC’s proving
ground during
Wolfgang Hatz
Many well-known OEMs and the last few
Board Member for Research and Development of Porsche AG
automotive suppliers from all over years and I have
the world have been coming to
As highly innovative testing facilities, always found
Nardò for many years in order to
courtesy and
the Nardò Technical Center complements execute important test prodedures.
I always look forward to welcoming great hospitality.
our capacities in Weissach in the best way. our customers at the Nardò NTC is more
Technical Center and I am happy
Our employees like to keep coming to provide advice and assistance
than just a
supplier for me;
back to Nardò and appreciate the familiar whenever needed.
I have made
and Italian atmosphere. Anna Pascali
Customer Care, Nardò Technical Center friends there.
28 Nardò Technical Center –  40 Years Nardò Technical Center – 40 Years 29
Maurizio Reggiani
Director Research and Development
Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. I was very Imprint

Every Lamborghini made its

impressed Nardò Technical Center
40 Years

first steps in Nardò, simply when A special supplement of the

Porsche Engineering Magazine 1/2015

because we are sure that I drove for Publisher

Porsche Engineering Group GmbH

here we find the best and the first time with Porschestrasse 911
71287 Weissach

most unique testing facilities Germany

worldwide. The conditions for our Bugatti Tel. +49 711 911 0
Fax +49 711 911 8 89 99

Veyron Super

testing are ideal, everything Editor-in-Chief

is in one place, the weather Sport over the Frederic Damköhler

Editing | coordination

conditions fit, secrecy is a big jump on

Nadine Guhl

given, and the staff is highly VISCHER&BERNET, Stuttgart

professional with a very the great Translation

RWS Group Deutschland GmbH, Berlin

handling track,

human approach. Kraft Druck GmbH

76275 Ettlingen

just facing All rights reserved. Reprinting, incl.

the blue sky and

excerpts, only with the permission of the
publisher. No responsibility can be taken
for the return of photos, slides, films, or

Guido Morando, Product Development
manuscripts submitted without request.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Italy S.p.A.
Porsche Engineering is a 100% subsidiary

amazing view
of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG.

Professional. of the sea.
Florian Umbach, Head of Chassis Development
Bugatti Engineering GmbH

30 Nardò Technical Center –  40 Years Nardò Technical Center – 40 Years 31