Mercedes celebrates 50 years of high-bank track testing image

This high-bank test track is the location where Daimler’s brand prototypes everything – from luxury sedans and SUVs to Unimogs, sports cars, racing cars, buses and trucks.

After some costly expansion work, five decades ago Mercedes-Benz inaugurated its well-known test track in Stuttgart, in immediate vicinity to one of its most important manufacturing locations. The area included concentrically arranged circular tracks with different surfaces like blue basalt, concrete, slippery asphalt, and large cobblestones – there was even an integrated sprinkler system for wet-surface testing. Just like today, Mercedes-Benz was involved with anything from sedans to trucks, Unimogs, sports car, buses, and racing cars.

Mercedes celebrates 50 years of high-bank track testing 4

This is why engineers wanted the location to include high-speed, endurance, and rough-road testing, as well a test track for commercial vehicles. The German manufacturer also tells us all test sections have a cumulative length of 15,460 meters, including 3,018 meters of high-speed test track. The theoretically possible top speed on the steep bank is allegedly 124 miles per hour (200 kilometers per hour), but this “would physically be almost unendurable for a human being.” Of more interest might be that hitting the steep-bank curve at 150 kph (93 mph) with no hands on the wheel will result in the vehicle keeping its trajectory – the company says there are no more lateral forces on the tires.