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Auto’s equivalent of a first kiss: Meet the ’Ring

Hidden in the German countryside, far enough away from the toweringskyscrapers of Frankfurt’s buzzing economic zone, it is simply calledthe ’Ring.

Hidden in the German countryside, far enough away from the towering skyscrapers of Frankfurt’s buzzing economic zone, it is simply called the ’Ring.

If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

Nurburgring. Never has one name meant so much in the world of automotive testing and motorsports.

Located in northeastern Germany, the ’Ring is a proving ground, a baptism by twists and turns, soaring straightaways and frightening sections called Karussell and Flugplatz.

A quick lap time at the Nurburgring has become a rite of passage, the automotive equivalent of a first kiss, as one critic described it.

If you’re Aston Martin or Porsche, Acura or Nissan, Cadillac or Corvette, the Nurburgring is where you come to prove your car has the stuff of legends.

Widely considered the toughest, most dangerous and most demanding purpose-built race track in the world, legendary Formula One driver Jackie Stewart used two words to describe one of its four sections, the northern loop with its stomach-churning pretzel-shaped road.

“Green hell.”

Why is the ’Ring so special to today’s automakers?

It simulates a wide variety of driving conditions and vehicle behaviour lap after lap.

The various dips and crests allow analysis of a car’s performance under high levels of suspension compression and the requirement to slow from high speeds gives the braking components a thorough test.

“Twenty years ago, the Nurburgring was really only used by the German industry,” Tony Shute, the project manager for the new Lotus Evora told Edmunds.com.

“But then the Japanese took an interest. Now so many manufacturers have facilities at the ’Ring that it’s like Disneyland.”

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