BMW Expands Nurburgring Facility

The famed German race circuit has served as the auto maker’s vehicle proving grounds for nearly 40 years.

Mike Sutton

November 14, 2006

2 Min Read
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BMW M5 Ring Taxi in action.

BMW AG further hones its ability to develop “The Ultimate Driving Machine” with the completion of a 3-year renovation of its test facility at the famed Nurburgring Nordschliefe race circuit near Nurburg, Germany.

Configured for expanded test and development activities, the new high-tech workshop covers some 12,440 sq.-ft. (1,156 sq.-m) and includes 11 work bays, a new vehicle wash and detail center and a wheel-alignment facility, the auto maker says.

A new leisure wing has been added to comfort staffers after long hours of hard driving, while 30 computer workstations allow engineers and technicians to transmit test results and protocols directly back to BMW’s headquarters in Munich.

Exhibition and conference areas also have been added, BMW says.

Built between 1925 and 1927, the former Formula 1 racetrack has served as proving grounds for BMW vehicles for nearly 40 years. Its daunting array of turns and switchbacks has since been tapped by nearly every other global auto maker, including General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp., as the ultimate venue to develop performance vehicles.

Dubbed the “Green Hell” by many racers and enthusiasts, the Nordschliefe spans nearly 13 miles (21 km) in length and includes some 73 corners and a vertical elevation change of almost 1,000 ft. (305 m).

In addition to being used for production-vehicle evaluation (including BMW’s M GmbH performance unit), the auto maker’s Nurburgring facility also serves as the base for the BMW Motorsport Team, which competes for touring car, GT and endurance racing championships around the world.

Also residing at the BMW Nurburgring workshop is a small fleet of production M5 performance sedans, or Ring Taxis, which the auto maker uses to ferry tourists around the circuit at near-race speeds.

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