Kia models destined for the European market will be put to the test in a new testing facility that Hyundai has built on the legendary Nurburgring in Germany. Kia's parent company has invested 6.62 million euros, about $9 million Canadian in enhancing their research and development operations. This new permanent presence of Kia and Hyundai on the Nurburgring will enable them to more effectively assess the sustainability and vitality of their products.
This new 3622 m² (about 39,000 square feet) test centre was built in a mere 15 months. Since June, 2012, workers have erected a modern glass and steel building that will host workshops, offices and reception areas on four floors. These facilities support the company's central research and development group located in Russelsheim, Germany.
The 20.8 km Nurburgring, nicknamed The Green Hell, boasts a challenging 73 turns, 33 left and 40 right. It is considered one of the world's most challenging race tracks. Three hundred metres separate the highest point to the lowest point of the circuit with the rising and falling slopes varying from 17 and 11%, respectively. The circuit is one of the toughest in the world and has proven to be ideal to conduct stringent tests, including the accelerated endurance test during which the vehicles will travel up to 480 laps in just a few weeks. This gruelling test of nearly 10,000 kilometres is the equivalent of 150,000 kilometres under normal use conditions.
For engineers, it is undeniable that testing on the Nurburgring provides them with very important data on the behaviour of upcoming vehicles. It is obvious that during the testing phases, engineers can make adjustments and retest immediately, saving considerable time over the duration of the testing period.
"The Nurburgring is renowned as one of the most formidable challenges for any car," said Kia Motors European chief operating officer Michael Cole 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."
A permanent facility for Hyundai and Kia on the Nurburgring will maximize the quality of the tests on their vehicles. These tests involve their European vehicle line-up, but there is no doubt that improved testing will affect vehicles sold in North America too.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca