What is sports car manufacturer Porsche to do when it becomes bored with its own testing grounds, Weissach, and the Nürburgring just doesn’t allow its cars to reach their full potential? Buy a new testing facility, silly… Yup, Porsche lumped down an undisclosed sum of money – which is certainly more than we could imagine earning in a lifetime – to purchase Europe’s longest circular track, and everything else that comes with it.
That’s right; Porsche has officially purchased the Nardò Technical Center in Italy, which houses not only a 7-mile, four-lane oval track whose banks allow for speeds of up to 240 KM/h (149 mph), but also seven additional tracks that test various parts of vehicle, including: dynamics, multiple pavement response (cobblestone, potholes, uneven, etc.), high-speed noise, handling, off-road performance, and braking.
This really puts Porsche in a position to not only beat out its competition while saving money on testing fees, but it also allows it to better hone other brands that it is linked to, like Volkswagen, Lamborghini, and Bugatti. This also gives Porsche yet another revenue stream, as Nardò is one of the more popular testing tracks in Europe.
The thing about Porsche vehicles is that though they are much faster than your average cars, they are not about top speed, when compared to the likes of Lamborghini, Ferrari, and McLaren. Could this mean that Porsche may start pushing the limits on its upcoming vehicles and maybe flirt with the 200 mph mark? Not likely, but it is definitely a sweet idea to consider. Likely, this track is going to be the testing home for racing models, but we may catch the occasional 911 stretching its legs a little.
Typically, when we hear about vehicles climbing up to speeds of over 200 mph, we think of high performance vehicles like the Bugatti Veyron or the SSC Tuatara. Not once have we ever thought of a small car like the Audi A1 achieving such a feat. It was probably this assumption that led tuning firm, MTM, to completely make over the A1 so that it became a snarling speed machine, capable of hitting a top speed of 201 mph at the Nardo Highspeed Test.
Every year, modified supercars head on over to the Nardo test track to see what they are capable of, but this year, MTM’s Audi A1 decided to crash the party and show the 9FF Porsche 911 GT3, MKB McLaren SLR, G-Power BMW M3, and SpeedArt Porsche Cayenne Turbo just how it’s done. With an MTM tuning package consisting of various upgrades, the A1 delivers a total of 500 HP and 442 lb-ft of torque. 500 HP! When equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox and limited slip differential, the car will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds with a top speed of the aforementioned 201 mph.
Adding a few more bells and whistles to the heart-thumping power, MTM gave the small car a new set of 18" MTM bimoto rims with a 9-spoke race design, a new set of MTM-Spacers (20 mm per axle), upgraded brakes, and a lowered suspension.
And to think, just one year ago, MTM released their new package for the A1 that had no type of engine upgrades. It may have taken them a year to get the engine tweaks just right, but the result was certainly worth the wait. That is, if anyone plans on racing an Audi A1 anytime soon.
While some tuning firms do what they do in order to upgrade a vehicle’s looks, many find the greatest amount of joy in pushing these vehicles’ limits to the outermost edge of their threshold. G-Power’s ultimate test was found on the Nardo high speed test track. When you can successfully test your vehicle on the Nardo test track, you know you are doing good, but when you do so by achieving a top speed of 207 mph, you know your success has just tripled.
The Nardo Ring in Italy is 7.8 miles long and features four lanes for cars and motorcycles to test out their speed capabilities. What makes this track so special is its simplistic design that allows drivers to eliminate steering needs when traveling at speeds within the 149 mph limit set in the fourth lane. What this means is that the lanes are angled in such a way that drivers can drive the vehicle as if they were speeding down a straight line, which we all know is the way to go to set a higher top speed.
On the flip side, this test track can also put a heap of pressure on the vehicle’s engine with high temperatures and full throttle driving tackling its construction. This is where G-Power has excelled. Their tuning kit for the BMW M3 not only allowed Christian Stöber, Vice President and Technical Director at G-Power to get the M3 up to 207 mph at the 2011 Nardo High-Speed Test event, but did so with no major engine damage. Only two cars with 900hp and 1000hp were faster at this event, which speaks volumes of G-Power’s new BMW M3 package.
Hit the jump for details on the BMW M3 SK II by G-Power and a video of its achievement at the Nardo Ring..