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The tests: 351.45 km/h,
High speed record for 23-inch Exelero wide tires on Fulda/Maybach
Greatest challenge to technology
and material - TÜV inspection approves test start
Sunrise in a radiantly blue
Southern Italian sky. The atmosphere is tense on Nardos 12.5-kilometer
circuit. Klaus Ludwig, a three-time DTM winner sits in his racing
gear and helmet, apparently completely calm, at the wheel of the
Maybach Exelero and waits for the signal to start in his attempt
on the record.
This highlight of the project had
been preceded by a number of intensive tests, starting with the
various wind tunnel phases. In accordance with the results, the
Exelero was optimized correspondingly.
Then in March came the roll-out in
Turin where the Maybach Exelero was officially handed over to the
client, Fulda Reifen.
In mid-April, it then went to the
so-called "running-in track at the Sindelfingen plant.
Here, the vehicle was subjected to intensive checks of its engine
functions, brakes, chassis and handling etc., already at speeds
of around 200 km/h.
Finally, at the end of April, the
technical inspection of the Exelero was carried out on the
DaimlerChrysler test track in Papenburg, i.e. the test
measurements conducted provided the basis for preparations for
the attempt at the high speed record in Nardo. For example,
Spoilers were tried out in various positions and further
adjustments made to optimize the speed and stability.
Since the Exelero vehicle is
intended to prove itself in the long run in practical use, it was
appropriately designed as a road machine and needed a license.
That meant that the TÜV (Technical Control Board) had to give
its technical blessing to the Exelero. Peter Kühlwein, one of
the most experienced experts of TÜV Automotive GmbH, Gruppe Süd,
tested and evaluated the safety-relevant vehicle components like
the seats with the safety belts and the weight distribution
within the car. All points were checked off to the satisfaction
of the TÜV engineer or otherwise reconfigured.
When all the reservations from the
side of the DaimlerChrysler specialists, the tire engineers and
the TÜV experts, had been satisfied, nothing stood in the way of
the final mission in Southern Italy.
The entire team already arrived on
Thursday. On this day and the next, the Exelero was completely
checked yet again. On Saturday the team checked all the measuring
facilities and conducted trial measurements as well as several
test laps with technical project manager Jürgen Weissinger at
the wheel. Early on Sunday morning then everything was ready: The
final test could begin.
At 7.09 hrs., Klaus Ludwig already
completed his first lap at a speed of 346 km/h. Just one lap
later the targeted record of 350 was broken. The FIA standardized
measuring unit registered a world record top speed of 351.45 km/h!
Klaus Ludwigs comments after breaking the record: "It
was unbelievable how easily the vehicle could be handled at this
record speed. Particularly the tires conveyed an absolutely safe
feeling. Everything was simply just right: technology, chassis
Bernd J. Hoffmann, Managing
Director of Fulda Reifen, thanked all the teams involved for
their outstanding efforts: "Everybody gave their best and
thus made this success possible. The vehicle and tires supplement
each other perfectly."
An idea becomes reality.