Somewhere near Groom Lake in the Nevada desert is Area 51, a top-secret enclave where the military develops and tests its most cutting-edge hardware. Or not. Hidden on a side road just outside the northern loop of the Nürburgring is the Jaguar test center in the Industrial Park, which is ostensibly the Area 51 of cars.
On this episode of Driven, JF Musial gets a tour of the test facility with Phil Talboys, head of European Test Operations for Jaguar, and a lap of the Nordshliefe with Sascha Bert, the Jaguar test driver who set the XK-RS lap record.
He also gets a look at a place where a number of automakers have set up development testing facilities, since the Nürburgring's become the auto industry's de facto global proving ground. Will they stay there now that it's become the place with all the kids with cameras camp out in wait of the latest sports cars? Probably.