It is a no-brainer that the car industry benefits from having a race track or a high-speed testing facility. India in particular is devoid of such infrastructure as we have only three racetracks around the whole wide country but now, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar has launched the NATRAX (National Automotive Test Tracks) testing facility in the Pithampur district of Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
It is said to be Asia’s largest testing facility and the world’s fifth-largest. It is well-equipped with the most up-to-date technology and facilities. This infrastructure directly supports Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, and it is a glorious occasion for India and even more so, for the Indian automotive industry!
The new NATRAX facility is 11.3 km long. It is spread across 1,000 acres of land while the NATRAX facility is located on 3,000 acres of land that was developed by the government of India for testing automobiles and certification programs. As far as the speed is concerned, the track is designed for doing 250 kmph of neutral speed and a maximum speed of 375 kmph.
NATRAX is specially made for testing purposes. It is said that the new track will be used for development and homologation tests for all kinds of vehicles launching in India. Apart from the performance test of the vehicle, the new track will allow conducting various other tests on the automobiles. This includes maximum speed, braking performance, real road driving simulation, constant speed fuel consumption, emission test, high-speed handling, and also durability test. There will be 16 other tracks, each of them will be used for a different test. Such dynamic capability, braking, gradability, fatigue limits, gravel and off-road performance, NVH, and grip levels of all types of vehicles.
With these in-depth testing, it is said that the facility will also be used for commercial events such as products launches, racing events, dealership meets, etc. Earlier all the automotive Manufacturer used to test their vehicles out of India, but companies like Lamborghini, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler Automobile. Peugeot and have expressed their interest in using the new facility.
Top of the class testing facility in India is a great initiative, as India will be the hub for Automotive spare parts and large-scale production. Other than the NATRAX testing facility, there is the Automotive Research Association of India (ASAI) and the International Centre of Automotive Technology (ICAT) in India.