Ehra-Lessien, Gifhorn, Germany

Ehra-Lessien, Gifhorn, Germany

This huge test facility belongs to the Volkswagen Group and was deliberately positioned here during the Cold War in a no-fly zone on the East German border, safe from prying eyes trying to view secret prototypes. It boasts 96km of tarmac which includes a large variety of road surfaces and curves on which to thrash the living daylights out of test mules.

Its pièce de resistance though is the unbroken straight, 9 km in length, on which the top speed of pretty much any car may be determined. Though this portion of the track is absolutely flat and leveled, when standing on one side of the straight, the other end cannot be seen due to the curvature of the Earth. As Volkswagen own Bugatti, its seemed fitting that Top Gear should vmax the Veyron here with a recorded run of 407kmh.

By Phil Clark

This huge test facility belongs to the Volkswagen Group and was deliberately positioned here during the Cold War in a no-fly zone on the East German border, safe from prying eyes trying to view secret prototypes. It boasts 96km of tarmac which includes a large variety of road surfaces and curves on which to thrash the living daylights out of test mules.

Its pièce de resistance though is the unbroken straight, 9 km in length, on which the top speed of pretty much any car may be determined. Though this portion of the track is absolutely flat and leveled, when standing on one side of the straight, the other end cannot be seen due to the curvature of the Earth. As Volkswagen own Bugatti, its seemed fitting that Top Gear should vmax the Veyron here with a recorded run of 407kmh.

By Phil Clark

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