The Ehra-Lessien (sometimes simply 'Ehra') test track facility is located near Wolfsburg, Germany in the district Gifhorn, and is owned by Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG). It is located near to the headquarters of VAG.
Built during the Cold War, the location was chosen as, at the time, it was in a no-fly zone near the East German border, safe from prying eyes seeing secret prototypes.
The facility features 96 kilometres (60 mi) of private tarmac, which includes a large variety of road surfaces and curves, used as test tracks to evaluate new and prototype vehicles. More significantly, there is a high speed circuit with a straight approximately 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) long. Although this portion of the track is flat and level, when standing at one end of the straight, the other end cannot be seen due to the curvature of the Earth. Including banked corners at both ends of the circuit, both allowing high entry and exit speed to and from the straight, and to increase average speed during the 20 kilometres (12 mi) lap, the straight is especially useful for determining vehicle top speed.
Notably, the top speed of the Bugatti Veyron and the McLaren F1 were recorded along this straight. In an episode aired on 4 February 2007 on BBC Two's Top Gear, presenter James May reached 407.9 kilometres per hour (253.5 mph) in a Bugatti Veyron.
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