FRANKFURT, Germany—Construction is complete on a $9-million test centre at Germany’s Nürburgring, where Kia and Hyundai plan to put new vehicle models through their paces at one of the world’s most challenging race tracks.
Construction of the 39,000 sq. ft. facility was launched in June 2012 by Kia and Hyundai parent company Hyundai Motor Group in order to expand its research and development operations and give the brands a full-time presence at the famed 20.6-kilometre circuit in western Germany.
“The Nürburgring is renowned as one of the most formidable challenges for any car,” Kia Motors Europe chief operating officer Michael Cole said in a statement.
“Having a dedicated, permanent facility at the track will enable Kia engineers to maximize the effectiveness of the development testing undertaken there.”
With 73 corners and an elevation difference of almost 300 metres between the highest and lowest points, ‘the Ring’ features uphill and downhill gradients of 17 and 11 per cent, respectively, making it a popular test site for automakers the world over.
The circuit is ideal for conducting the most demanding vehicle tests, including the “accelerated endurance test,” where vehicles are driven 480 laps within the space of only a few weeks, covering 10,000 kilometres of tarmac.
This test simulates the equivalent of over 150,000 kilometres of driving under ordinary conditions, providing valuable data and test-driver feedback to development engineers.
The companies say the new test centre will allow engineers to evaluate the data on the spot and in real time, and to make modifications while test cycles are underway.