This is the place where Mercedes tests its sedans, trucks, Unimogs, sports car, buses, and racing cars.

Following extensive expansion work, exactly 50 years ago Mercedes-Benz opened its famous test track located in Stuttgart, close to one of its most important plants. The project was started a year earlier after nearly three years of discussions between the bosses of the company.

The first segment to be taken into operation included concentrically arranged circular tracks with different surfaces like blue basalt, concrete, slippery asphalt, and large cobblestones. Also, an integrated sprinkler system allowed wet-surface testing.

Mercedes-Benz Stuttgart test track

But at that time, just like today, Mercedes-Benz had a very wide portfolio of vehicles – from regular sedans and wagons to trucks, Unimogs, sports car, buses, and racing cars. Shortly after the first part of the track was ready, it became evident that it was “still inadequate for the many and varied demands of the passenger car and commercial vehicle testing departments.” Engineers wanted a place to conduct high-speed, endurance, and rough-road testing, as well a test track for commercial vehicles. Because of this, the site was therefore gradually extended to accommodate all these ideas.

Mercedes-Benz Stuttgart test track
Mercedes-Benz Stuttgart test track

The German manufacturer explains the cumulative length of all test sections is 15,460 meters, including 3,018 meters of high-speed test track. The theoretically possible maximum speed on the steep banking is 124 miles per hour (200 kilometers per hour), but this “would physically be almost unendurable for a human being.”

Interestingly, for long-term purposes, the more important thing is to be able to drive through the steep-bank curve at speed of 150 kph (93 mph) with no hands on the wheel. As the company explains, at this point there are no longer any lateral forces impacting on the tires and the vehicle remains on track through the bend without any steering input.

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In the last 50 years the track constantly evolved to be adapted to new conditions and new vehicles. For example, it now features a section of road with a low-noise "whisper asphalt" surface for the measurement of noise.

Note: Check out the press release section below for more details.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

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