Porsche Announces $200 million expansion of Weissach R&D Facilities
Intent on taking its already legendary vehicle development capabilities to an even higher level, Porsche has committed to a comprehensive $200 million upgrading program of its existing research and development operation in Weissach, Germany. The investment will be focused on three key functional areas: an advanced design center, a state-of-the-art wind tunnel and an innovative electronics integration complex. Porsche expects the synergies that will accrue from these enhancements -- as well as the influx of new engineering personnel to man them -- will pay palpable dividends, not only for the buyers of Porsche vehicles but for the many automotive clients who contract for various developmental services from its engineering wing.
In addition to simply offering more usable creative work space, Porsche says the revamped design studio will be configured in a way that expedites a fundamental process that has become even more demanding in its scale and scope as critical timelines continue to shorten. Linking it with quick, easy access to the new wind tunnel also is projected to yield major increases in efficiency.
Wolfgang Durheimer, Porsche AG Board of management member for research and development, is even keener on the potential gains to be realized by integrating these two elements with the electronic side of the equation. "This spatial proximity is a major advantage. The close interaction of our suppliers' various electrical system/electronics experts and colleagues from related specialist fields during development will contribute significantly to the success of our work, particularly in the case of electronics, which now play a role in virtually every vehicle component."
In conjunction with its announcement, the automaker also released a new teaser image of a designer working on a one-third-scale clay model of its upcoming Porsche 918 Spyder. Headed for limited production around 2014, this plug-in hybrid supercar is likely to be one of the first vehicles that will reap at least some of the benefits promised by the soon-to-be-expanded Weissach facilities.