Nardo

Porsche Engineering Group has recently announced that it will be taking over responsibility of the Nardò Technical Center automotive proving ground in Apulia in southern Italy from Prototipo SpA. This is the same facility Porsche showed off a prototype variant of its upcoming 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid supercar.

With more than 80 years experience in engineering services, the hundred per cent subsidiary of Porsche AG will be further optimising the test facilities and making them available to its clients for testing and trials purposes.The facility itself is slightly larger than than 700 hectares in the province of Lecce, Italy, with the test ground consisting of a 6.2 kilometre long handling circuit, a 12.5 kilometre long high speed oval circuit (easily seen from the photo above) and additional facilities for simulating different road surfaces and changeable weather conditions.

“The Nardò proving ground with its high-speed and vehicle handling circuit ideally complements our facilities in Weissach. With the systematic development of the company in Nardò as part of Strategy 2018, Porsche is proving to be a reliable employer and business partner in Apulia as well,” said Matthias Müller, President and CEO of Porsche AG.

“With its rich array of facilities, from dynamic surfaces to acoustic and off-road sections coupled with the numerous workshops, our clients can continue to make extensive use of Nardò for their vehicle trials in the future as well,” said Malte Radmann, CEO of Porsche Engineering. Thanks to the mild climate, the Nardò proving ground can be used throughout the year in three shifts around the clock, seven days a week.

Together with the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach near Stuttgart, Germany, the Porsche Engineering Group has been offering Porsche’s extensive development expertise as a service to its clients from the automotive industry and other sectors worldwide, from renting test rigs to developing complete vehicles.

When finished, the production version will tip the scales at less than 1,678 kg, nearly 80-percent of the weight is below the centerline of the car, giving the 918 a fantastically low center of gravity. Additionally, the entire chassis is a mix of carbon fiber and aluminum, including the passenger compartment and associated crash structure, which weighs in at a mere 220 kg.
Carbon fiber assembly has come a long way since Porsche Carrera GT (which also utilized a carbon fiber tub). 10 years ago, it took Porsche took five days to make the GT’s chassis. Today, Porsche and birth up to five 918 tubs a day thanks to new innovations in composites and assembly methods.
When powertrain development of the 918 Spyder is completed, Porsche says that the 918′s 4.6-liter V8 (originally fitted to the three-time ALMS LMP2 Championship-winning RS Spyder) will produce an amazing 570 hp. Add the power of the front-mounted 80 kW motor and the rear-mounted 90 kW motor, and the 918 produces 770 hp. Seven hundred and seventy horsepower. From the factory.

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