World's Largest Test Tracks: The Race Is On
Today, GM and its Chinese joint venture partner SAIC opened what GM China President Kevin Wale called “China’s largest proving ground.“ The test track west of Shanghai did cost about $252.5 million, Reuters says. Automakers are busy turning China into test track central, but Milford may be passed by a German track.
The 1,400-acre (560-hectare) project in Guangde County, Anhui province, is part of the $1.5 billion GM invests annually in China. While China’s largest, the track is dwarfed by GM’s more than 4,000-acre proving ground in Milford, Michigan.
The FAW-Volkswagen joint venture is building a test track in Changchunin northeastChina’sJilinprovince. When finished in 2014, this track will be the largest of its kind in China, says China Daily. It is expected to be twice the size of GM’s track near Shanghai. According to Beijing rumors, the track will be larger than Volkswagen’s gigantic home track in Ehra-Lessien near Wolfsburg. Ehra may not be eclipsed for long by its Chinese cousin. Volkswagen laid its eyes on the neighboring 4,200 acre military proving ground, currently used by the German army. All Volkswagen has to do is tear the fence down that separates its proving ground from the much larger military installation. The army will move by the end of 2013.
Meanwhile in the U.S.A., an only slightly used test track owned by Honda in the Mojave Desert went on sale in 2011. Last we checked, it had found no buyer.
Does Tire Rack use an old Studebaker test track in South Bend, IN?
You never know where there's going to be a test track. I was driving down Plymouth Road in Livonia and as I was going by the Ford transmission plant, I noticed there was some banking. When I got home I checked the satellite view and sure enough there's a paper clip shaped oval track that's about 4500 ft long. Then there are the rooftop test tracks. Fiat had one in Italy, Chrysler had one in Argentina and Imperia had one in Belgium. Apparently they're building an auto mall in Istanbule with a rooftop test track. http://www.carsindepth.com/?p=783
Ronnie, when did the camouflaged testing of future models on public roads start. I do not mean the use of test mules of putting the next models running gear under the current body which I guess has gone on almost from the birth of the industry . Rather the practice of covering prototype or preproduction items with a covering that makes working out what it will realy look like rather difficult . Cheers, Windy They say the memory is the second thing to go........
I read from engrish auto mag that FIAT used to have a roof top track on top of its factory building. anybody can elaborate on that? http://jalopnik.com/5714628/fiats-roof-top-test-track is all here. I guess most car manufacturers are really betting heavy in middle kingdom.