A glimpse inside Porsche’s R&D center

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“We make ideas tangible” is the motto of the model makers at the Porsche Development Center in Weissach, Germany. The company has now provided an insight into the operation of the facility in a series of recently published images.

The center incorporates all elements of the vehicle development process, from initial design through prototype component manufacture and testing. Porsche even has its own on-site foundry, used for the casting of parts such as electric motor housings and chassis components.

An aerodynamic testing wind tunnel and climatic test chambers are also available, as well as a climatic wind tunnel and an acoustic wind tunnel, the former of which is also equipped with a chassis dynamometer for the simulation of drive cycles. In the acoustic tunnel, an array of 600 microphones is used to create an audio picture of flows over a vehicle body.

For powertrain testing, there are 18 separate test benches, as well as systems to investigate charging performance for EVs; the nine dedicated IC engine testbeds are also used by the company’s motorsport department. Further facilities accommodate the testing of evermore complex integrated electronics systems across both IC and EV applications.

Hinting at the scale of Porsche’s testing operations, the site has parking facilities for 1,900 prototype vehicles, which are segregated into spaces for unit carriers, construction stage vehicles and pre-series cars. Cars are fitted with transponders so their movements can be closely monitored. An additional 1,000+ space garage with 400 charging points is also under construction, to expand the capacity for commissioning and testing approval tasks.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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