We have recently seen the important features of the Mahindra SUV Proving Track or MSPT that has been opened near Chennai. The mother of all testing tracks in India is the NATRAX or the National Automotive Test Tracks facility in Pithampur near Indore.
The new test track is designed by the same Spanish design agency, IDIADA that has designed the MSPT. It is designed and built to endure the extreme climatic conditions of Madhya Pradesh. The whole facility occupies around 3000 acres of land and contains 16 testing tracks and 5 laboratories. It employs around 50 people in the 7 buildings of the facility.
It will provide a state of the art testing and certification for the new models of cars and automobiles. Stretches of the tracks are designed for high speed testing that includes a speed of even 300 kmph. The facility also provides labs for simulating conditions and to get better insights for the designers. Apart from that the facility can also be used to test the new models and to get them certified.
The high speed testing track is made with a life time of 25 years that offers smooth and low friction surface for high speed testing. Similarly it has a stretch with zero percent inclination that can be used to test the performance of the cars. Achieving a zero degree incline in a terrain like that of Pithampur is in itself a challenge. The 1000m radius ensures safety even at high speed testing and provides better control while manoeuvring the cars at the turns.
The test track has an 11.3 km of tracks. The sinusoidal transition methodology provides easier transition curve for high speed drivers. In spite of the heavy downpour that Madhya Pradesh is bound to get, the NATRAX will not be clogged with water. The efficient drainage system ensures safe, smooth and quick removal of rain water from the tracks to outside the facility.
The new NATRAX meets an important demand for a world class testing ground on the Indian soil. Unfortunately, the facility doesn’t have a stretch or track for use by enthusiasts.