It's that test track you can see from space.
Porsche is celebrating ten years of owning the Nardo Technical Center (NTC) in South Italy. The German brand purchased the Apulian testing facility in 2012. Fiat built the track in 1975, and it eventually ended up in private ownership until Porsche bought it for development purposes.
The Nardo Ring is probably most famous for being the spot where the Koenigsegg CCR set a top-speed record for a production car in 2005. The CCR reached a top speed of 241 mph, but Koenigsegg eventually lost the record to the Bugatti Veyron.
Since the purchase, Porsche has invested $84 million in upgrading the facility. These upgrades include tracks, workshops, and safety systems.
The famous high-speed ring was wholly renovated in 2019, including optical fiber cables for fast data transmission and various traffic signal opportunities to validate automated driving. Most of the development work for the Taycan was done at NTC.
As Porsche is now a competitive EV manufacturer, a few high-powered charging stations were also required. The NTC can also test the connected and automated functions of next-generation vehicles. It has a private 5G network for fast data transmission and other new services.
"The acquisition of the Nardo Technical Center by Porsche in 2012 was an important enrichment for the whole Porsche Group," says Michael Steiner, member of the executive board for research and development at Porsche AG and Chairman of the Shareholder's Committee of Porsche Engineering.
"From the very beginning, Nardo has been a cornerstone for our vehicle development and testing due to its special tracks and in-depth testing expertise," Steiner continued. "During the last ten years, it has evolved substantially, enabling ourselves and customers from all over the world to develop and validate future vehicles even more efficiently."
Over the last ten years, the NTC's workforce has increased by 50 percent. The NTC is also deeply involved within the community, offering access to a modern fire-fighting system, initiatives in the local communities, and talent scouting.
"Thanks to the support of Porsche and Porsche Engineering, the Nardo Technical Center has underlined its role for the automotive industry over the last decade," says Antonio Gratis, managing director of the NTC. "At the same time, we were able to contribute to the growth of the entire local ecosystem in Apulia. We feel deeply connected with this prestigious region, its people and potential and strive to continue this successful path."