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by Tim Beissmann

Hyundai is investing $7 million into the construction of a new test centre at the Nurburgring in Germany in another example of the South Korean car maker’s commitment to improving the quality and performance of its future vehicles.

Hyundai Motor Europe senior vice president Allan Rushforth said the new test centre at the Nurburgring was an expression of the company’s intention to focus on improving the “customer experience” of its vehicles, particularly their ride and handling, which he admitted was an important consideration of drivers in Europe and other markets.

“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,” Rushforth said.

All new European-designed Hyundai vehicles will be tested at the Nurburgring following the construction of the 3050-square-metre facility, with the data and driving impressions derived from track testing intended to help engineers at the brand’s R&D centre in Russelheim, Germany, improve driving dynamics, durability and reliability.

Almost 95 per cent of the 444,000 Hyundais sold in Europe in 2012 were designed and engineered in Russelheim, including the i30, i40 and ix35.

Once the domain of only high-performance sports cars, in recent years the Nurburgring has become the pre-eminent test facility for new mainstream passenger cars because of its unique combination of surface, speed and climate conditions.




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