Federal Minister Julia Klöckner with Smudo at the Nürburgring
When a minister drives with a rapper in a Porsche at the Nürburgring, there must be a very special reason: The 911 GT3 Cup of the German rapper Smudo (“Die Fantastischen Vier”) is the rolling development laboratory of the Fraunhofer WKI, the German institute for wood research.
New materials are being tested under racing conditions that could replace materials such as aluminium and carbon fibre in future race cars. This project receives support from Julia Klöckner’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The driver’s door of the 357 kW (485 hp) racing taxi from Weissach is made out of a natural-fibre composite material. Porsche is the development partner of the Fraunhofer Application Centre HOFZET for the production and testing of components.
As part of the test drives of the German racing team Four Motors around the cult musician and TV juror Smudo, Julia Klöckner got the chance as a passenger to be impressed by the sustainable biomaterial. During the test, the pair lapped the 24.4-kilometre combination of the Grand Prix Circuit and Nordschleife at race speed.
“The racetrack provides the proof: A race car with components made of plant fibres performs just as well as a conventional racing car. And what works under high-performance and extreme conditions works even better in everyday life,” said Klöckner after her drive in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup at the Nürburgring. “Using bio solutions in automotive construction is high-tech and not a knitted sweater. With Porsche, we’ve managed to win over an automobile manufacturer for the first time with which we can test the lightweight bio-components for series production,” added Smudo.
Porsche has been working with scientists from the Fraunhofer WKI on new materials for future vehicles for about two years now. Among other things, the specialists are researching renewable raw materials such as flax or hemp fabrics, which could replace conventionally-produced components such as doors, hoods, sills and rear wings.
For the first time since 1997, a Porsche TV commercial will be broadcast during the U.S. Super Bowl on 2 February 2020.