In order to protect visitors and staff, and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Porsche Museum has been closed to the public in recent months. “We wanted to be able to offer our visitors an unforgettable experience right from day one, so we made the most of the time during the closure to bring forward changes that had been planned for this year. For instance, we’ve changed some of the exhibits, undertaken modernisation work and installed new interactive stations,” explains Achim Stejskal, Director Heritage and Porsche Museum.
A brief look back
With schools and nurseries closed, and many people working from home, the Museum reacted quickly with Porsche 4Kids and a range of exciting online experiences for children on the website www.porsche4kids.com. An equally welcome change to the day-to-day routine of 2020 was provided by the live digital tours of the exhibition on the 43rd International Museum Day, on 17 May. From July to November, the Porsche Museum presented the manufacturer’s first all-electric sports car – the Taycan – as part of the ‘Start to Drive Electric’ exhibition series in the DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum in Berlin.
“We tried to make the best of the past year. We therefore reacted flexibly to current regulations and always acted in the best interests of our fans and staff. Despite all of the challenges we found new opportunities, even during the crisis, and we are delighted now about the reopening, which promises many surprises, and two special exhibitions in 2021,” adds Stejskal.
Activities during the closure
The team from the Porsche Heritage and Museum department had to go to extreme lengths – and heights – to carry out a spectacular change of exhibits. The Porsche 956, which previously hung from the exhibition ceiling, was transferred to colleagues at Historic Motorsport. As well as the Museum Workshop, where classic series production cars are repaired and rebuilt, the restoration and maintenance of historic racing cars is carried out in Weissach. It was here that the Heritage department returned the former Le Mans-winning car to roadworthy condition.
The Porsche 956, which was used as a test car for the legendary TAG Turbo Formula One engine and to perform research into the ground effects, is now installed in the same place. The special underbody of the car, which features diffusers that generate a vacuum when driving to literally suck the car onto the road, would in theory enable the vehicle to drive on the ceiling.
Experience the design DNA interactively
Porsche design DNA extends across all model ranges – and that of the 911 goes all the way back to 1963. Visitors now have the opportunity to experience the design DNA interactively. The ‘Consistent’ station at the museum features six model cars on turntables, with one derivative for each model line. When a visitor approaches the interactive turntable – which uses a mix of 3D printing methods and optical sensor technology – all cars stop their pause loop and turn to face the visitor. As soon as the turntable under the 911 moves, the other models rotate in sync.
Meanwhile, red illuminated lines appear on the six models, providing a visual depiction of the Porsche design DNA, which is explained in detail on the Multimedia Guide. Rarely has it been easier to visualise the relationships between model ranges by means of design lines. The interactive addition will now become part of the permanent exhibition – in addition to the 80 cars and more than 200 small exhibits.
Newly designed Multimedia Guide
Every visitor now has the option of using a newly designed Multimedia Guide, which contains extensive information about the individual cars in the exhibition. In addition to a new camera and the Android 8 operating system, the device now features a larger display with Full HD+ resolution. The Multimedia Guide 2.0 is intuitive to use, and a children’s version is available for young visitors. The guide reacts very quickly, making it fun to delve into the wide range of content and to learn all about the exhibits through dynamic storytelling.
To ensure that information is up-to-date, the team has produced new audio content for 210 vehicles, since the exhibits in the permanent exhibition are changed on a regular basis. Audio commentaries in multiple languages have been added to video clips and existing media. Visitors not only have access to information, audio content and video clips about the different vehicles, but also engine sounds and historic images at the touch of a button.
Porsche Racing Simulators
For those looking for a white-knuckle racing experience, there is good news: with the Porsche Racing Simulators, Museum visitors can now experience the adrenaline of motorsport for themselves. Users can play games and race in E-Sports competitions at all levels of difficulty, with a curved driver-oriented screen and the steering wheel from the 911 GT3 Cup making it all feel very exciting – and real.
The simulator is also equipped with high-performance pedals to make the response as direct and realistic as possible, while the racing seat offers exceptional lateral support during cornering, and the D-BOX Motion System moves the driver sideways, up and down, forwards and backwards.
Take home a souvenir photograph
For many enthusiasts, sitting in their dream Porsche is the goal. Visitors to the Museum can now do this – and they can even take home a souvenir photograph. Visitors who wish to have their photo taken simply take a seat in the car provided from the current model range.
The photo booth was completely revamped during the closure, with new backgrounds now available so visitors can imagine they’re experiencing the car against a range of different scenery, using image cut-out technology. The desired backdrop, as well as any filters, can be applied at the collection point and as well as being able to take home a free print, users can have the photo emailed to them for sharing on social media.
Modernised ceiling lighting
To ensure that the exhibits are always showcased in the perfect light, the Museum team has spent the past few months upgrading the overhead lighting. The newly installed spotlights dramatically reduce energy consumption while doubling the light quality. They also reduce heat emissions by around 50 per cent, meaning less air conditioning is needed.
With a colour rendering index of up to 96 − almost as high as the 100 offered by sunlight − the new system allows the exhibits to shine more than ever before. All 560 motorised architectural luminaires are controlled with a single tablet. For individual events, the lights can be integrated into a staged show lighting scheme by means of a lighting control console. Called the ‘grandMA3’, the console is also used on some of the great stages of the world.
The new Corona Ordinance of the State of Baden-Württemberg, implemented on 8 March 2021, requires visitors to register in advance of arriving at the Porsche Museum whenever the seven-day incidence rate is between 50 and 100. Visitors can do this by contacting the Visitor Service on: +49 (0) 711 911-20911 or firstname.lastname@example.org. When the seven-day incidence rate is below 50, advance registration is not necessary. Wearing an FFP2 or medical mask is mandatory throughout the building.
The Porsche Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 09:00-18:00, and information about the current measures and the gradual opening of the visitor programmes, which are fully aligned with official regulations, is available on the website www.porsche.com/museum