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Porsche to expand R&D base

Porsche has announced plans to enhance its research and development center in Weissach, Germany. The sports car manufacturer is investing around US$200 million in the expansion, which will see the creation of a new wind tunnel, a state-of-the-art design center and an innovative electronics integration centre.

The technology implemented in the new wind tunnel will meet future requirements for vehicle development, which are increasingly focusing on energy efficiency. "This new facility will help us to maintain the top position of Porsche in the fields of aerodynamics and design, and to further extend our lead,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, board member for research and development at Porsche AG. “Outstanding design with optimal aerodynamic efficiency has always been a classic Porsche stronghold.”

The wind tunnel will be used not only for specific Porsche developments, but also for the many external projects that engineers at Porsche are often contracted to consult upon.

In addition to the wind tunnel, sub-areas, which were previously arranged within several buildings at Weissach, will in the future be hosted together in the new electronics integration centre. "This spatial proximity is a major advantage. The close interaction of our suppliers' various electrical system and electronics experts together with 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,” Dürheimer added.

Besides investing in systems and buildings, Porsche is also increasing its staffing levels. Around 100 engineers are to be recruited in the first stage and will be deployed in the further development and optimization of alternative drive concepts, or cooperate in new vehicle projects such as the 918 Spyder super sports car.

2 December 2010


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