Vehicle engineers are set to benefit from ultra-accurate new modelling software that replicates the 20.8km-long Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit with never-before-achieved detail.
Software company rFpro says it’s modelled the entire Nordschleife in 3D accuracy better than 1mm in height, and 10mm in sideways and fore-aft positions. This, it says, is 10 times better than anything that’s gone before.
It means that engineers can develop cars in a virtual environment ‘with every bump, kerb ripple and camber from the actual track’.
It’s not been the work of a moment. It took the firm four years in man hours to achieve it, using cutting-ledge LIDAR laser imaging across the entire track surface – that’s more than 250,000 square metres, fact fans – and then updating the graphics to support this new model.
Naturally, it’s now delighted. rFpro technical director Chris Hoyle said: “Our model of the Nordschleife sets a new standard, enabling customers to carry out suspension tuning or the development of chassis systems such as stability control with a simulator, and arrive at the circuit with a better optimised package”.
The firm’s aim is not to claim it can replicate actually being at the Nordschleife. “Simulation is nothing without correlation against real test data in order to update and improve the mathematical vehicle models,” said Hoyle. But getting the car in a sharper state before it actually hits the track can both cut overall development time and help ensure time spent lapping the Nordschleife is better able to hone the perfect car.
Given how heated the front-wheel drive Nordschleife lap time battle has become recently – and given one firm’s stated claims of beating all-comers – MR wonders whether Honda will be one of the first customers, as it continues to hone the 2015 Civic Type-R.
However, rFpro did not say whether it’ll be making its model available to gamers and motoring journalists keen to get any edge in the battle of the ultimate Nurburgring Nordchleife lap time. Motoring Research will thus continue investigating this until it does.