In July of 2011 Porsche announced a major expansion of their R&D facility at Weissach. Earlier this week, that $200 million investment concluded with the successful opening of three new buildings including a new design studio with concept car construction facility, a state-of-the-art aero-acoustic wind tunnel and the Electronics Integration Center.
“Weissach now stands more than ever for top German engineering expertise and pure Swabian inventive spirit,” said Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, during the ceremony. “Intelligent engineering leads to success not only in motor vehicle manufacturing, but in architecture as well. That’s shown by these new buildings: our creative developers are able here to work hand-in-hand even more methodically than before,” said Müller.
The research and development center already stood out in the sector in the past, with the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer being the only player in the industry pooling all R&D together in one place: from concept to production car development (from the first design sketches via drive system, bodywork, chassis, electrics and electronics), including test runs on the center’s own road and off-road circuit.
The new studio provides the design staff with optimum conditions for the whole process of creating the exterior and interior of Porsche vehicles. From the first vision all the way through to the finished form – the complete sports cars are created under one roof. The architectural layout of the new studio facilitates a maximum level of transparency and communication and strengthens interaction between the ‘Preparation’ and ‘Flow Analysis’ disciplines, whose staff works together with the designers in the same building complex.
Adjacent to the studio is the ‘New Wind Tunnel’. The proximity aids daily collaboration and reduces the time cycles between design and aero-acoustic development. In this process the experts make multiple use of the wind tunnel, from the early stage of developing concept car designs right through to testing vehicles ready for full production. The building and equipment for the wind tunnel represent the single largest element of the sports car manufacturer’s $200 million plus investment at this site.
The adjacent Electronics Integration Center (EIZ) brings together the work of the Porsche developers in the fields of electrics and electronics, thus facilitating a perfect interplay of all components in the vehicle. Previously, the individual electrical and electronics departments were spread across twelve different buildings on the Weissach site. The building’s intelligent architecture, which assists the development process, now makes the EIZ a genuine accelerator of innovation.
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