Archive for the ‘Manufacturer testing’ Category

Holden VF SSV ute claims Nürburgring record

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Holden VF SSV ute at the Nurburgring

When we first saw pics of the Holden VF ute circulating at the Nürbugring we sensed it was little more than a marketing gimmick. And it looks as though we were right. With the VF SSV Redline ute Holden is claiming the title of the world’s fastest utlility vehicle at the Ring, a title which, until now, never existed.

Holden test driver Rob Trubiani was at the wheel during an industry pool test day and posted a lap time of 8:19.47, around 11 seconds better than their 8:30 target time. Holden says the car is a “product-correct engineering test vehicle” with its speed limiter removed and increased negative camber at the front wheels.

You can expect to see and hear a lot more about this lap when the VF ute goes on sale. For now there’s a decent gallery of pics and four videos for you to watch.

The main video shows the full lap with commentary from Trubiani, it’s actually quite a decent effort we have to say. Despite Trubiani’s claims that the ute’s electric power steering is the duck’s guts, to our untrained eye it looks a touch light and requires too much turn to reach full lock.


Holden VF Commodure ute on the Nordschleife

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Holden VF Commodore ute

While we welcome the news that Mal Rose will be making his way to the Nürburgring again for the 24 hour race next month we’re a little sad that he won’t have his V8 Commodore in circulation. That means fans of Aussie V8s will have to make do with this spy shot of the new VF Commodore ute which was seen at the ‘Ring last week.

[Source: Carscoop | Pic: CarPix | Thanks to Matt and John for the tips]

Hyundai building Nürburgring test center

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Hyundai Genesis Coupe facelift (2012)

Hyundai brings a positive sign for the longer term future of the Nordschleife with word they are building their own Nürburgring test center.

Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, says the goal is to improve the overall reliability and driving dynamics of their vehicles.

“The new Hyundai test centre at Nürburgring is an expression of our intention to focus on improving the customer experience of our vehicles, such as ride and handling—an important consideration for European drivers,” Rushforth said. “The new centre represents a significant investment, and one we expect will significantly contribute to enhancing the perception of the Hyundai brand and our key competitive competence in Europe.”

Hyundai is spending around AU$7 million on the 3050m2 facility and they say construction is well underway. No opening dates have been announced as yet.

[Pic: Scoopy/autoevolution]


Nürburgring industry pool comes alive

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

With concerns over the future of the Industry Pool at the Nürburgring settled last year, it’s great to see an assortment of exotic machinery circulating in the name of ongoing development.

Thanks to Bridge to Gantry you can enjoy a selection of six cylinder engines as well as an appearance from a V8, a V10 and a V12. Which do you think sounds best?

[Source: Bridge to Gantry]

McLaren MP4-12C crashes out during industry pool

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

McLaren MP4-12C

Word on the street, via Bridge to Gantry, says the McLaren MP4-12C had a bit of an off at the end of an industry pool testing day last week. Apparently the 12C went out at the end of the session, with the track to itself and a TV crew in chopper chasing overhead, indicating a possible lap record attempt.

The feisty Mac had almost completed its lap when it went past the TF gates at full noise on the Döttinger Höhe straight. Moments later, however, tyre screeches were heard and some nasty impact sounds were also reported.

Soon after, a covered recovery truck was seen on track, presumably to collect the wreckage. Unsurprisingly McLaren has yet to confirm the incident and it’s not clear now badly damaged the car was, or if the driver sustained any injuries, but we hope all is okay and the Mac is back on track soon.

[Source: Bridge to Gantry]

BMW M3 ute: What the (green) hell!

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

BMW M3 ute prototype

Awesome has a new definition. And that comes in the form of this BMW M3 ute prototype lapping the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Maybe BMW has taken inspiration from the equally awesome E39 M5 ute conversion by Australia’s own Stuart Appleby (yes, the pro golfer). Maybe it’s a crazy April Fool’s Day stunt in the making? Or perhaps the M3 ute is heading to the Essen Motor Show?

Whatever the reasons this car exists, it officially gets the biggest AUSmotive tick we’ve ever given to a test mule.

[Source: Autoblog | Pics: KGP Photography]


Positive news on the industry pool from Nürburgring GmbH

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Mk6 Golf GTI-R at the Nurburgring

A modest tweet from the official Nürburgring GmbH account indicates a satisfactory resolution has been reached in regards to the manufacturer’s industry test pool. Translated to English the tweet reads:

“Nürburgring GmbH and automotive industry pool reach agreement over the next 3 years.”

Fears were raised about the future of the industry test pool, featuring as many as 40 associated parties, last month when it was reported Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz and Pirelli had left the pool.

Aston Martin still keen for Nürburgring industry test days

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Aston Martin

Despite a strong rumour that Aston Martin had pulled out of the Nürburgring industry test pool we can reveal this is not the case.

Speaking to AUSringers, Kim Palmer, Aston Martin Product and Motorsport, said, “It’s not the case that Aston Martin has pulled out of the industry test pool days.

“Aston Martin is currently in negotiations with the Nürburgring which still plays a key aspect of our test and development strategy.”

That’s a welcome sign and, perhaps, also an indication that any real or perceived troubles with the private management of the Nürburgring can be successfully negotiated.

AUSringers is also waiting on comment from Mercedes-Benz about this situation.

Manufacturers reported to have left industry test pool

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Unconfirmed reports suggest that at least two manufacturers and one tyre company have opted out of the industry pool that use the Nürburgring as a test facility. If true, this would be the first tangible sign that concerns over the controversial plans by the Nürburgring’s private managers to increase costs have come to fruition.

In basic terms there is a fee charged to the industry pool each year and manufacturers and associated parties involved share the cost. According to a recent post on twitter it appears Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz and Pirelli may have pulled out.

In Aston Martin’s case, it’s not all that long since they opened a purpose-built facility close to the Ring, so it would highlight the gravity of the situation if this information proves correct.

[Pic: Pistonspy]

UPDATE 12 January: German website is running a report confirming Pirelli has left the Nürburgring industry test pool.

Audi R8 Spyder puts down a few laps

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Official confirmation of a release date for Audi’s R8 Spyder is no closer to being locked away. However, the 5.2-litre V10 rag top is not shying away from Nürburgring testing, as this video shows. The sight and sound of the 525bhp V10 powered R8 is one well worth watching.

According to autoblog, pencil in a first public reveal at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.

[Source: Jalopnik]

Golf GTI ‘R’ tested on the Nordschleife

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Mk6 Golf GTI-R at the Nurburgring

Is this the new über Golf GTI ‘R’ being tested at the Ring? One thing is sure to be certain, it is unlikely to be a 2.0 TDI as the rear badges suggest. For one, the centre mount twin exhaust hint at a far more potent powerplant.

While not likely to be final, the extended side skirts and deeper front grille also indicate this is a more performance oriented test mule.

The badging for this new top of the line GTI has not been confirmed, it is believed the Golf VI replacement for the outgoing R32 is to be powered by a 2-litre four cylinder turbo with around 200kW. All-wheel drive is also said to have been confirmed for the new hot-hatch replacement.

Expect to see a concept version of this car at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Some even reckon there’s a chance the GTI ‘R’ will be racing in this year’s Nürburgring 24 hour race in May.

Check the NextAutos link below for more images of the car in action.

[Source: NextAutos via The Motor Report]


Ford Focus RS chasing FWD record

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Here’s some video footage of the Focus RS lapping the Nürburgring Nordschleife courtesy of Rumour has it that Ford are chasing Renault’s FWD lap record set by the Megane R26.R and are hoping to announce a new time by April.

The time to beat is 8 minutes 16.9 seconds, check out the cR26.R setting the current record lap HERE.