The new buildings - the design studio with concept car construction facility, an aero-acoustic wind tunnel and the Electronics Integration Centre - set new standards in forward-looking vehicle development 'engineered and designed in Weissach'.
Pure Swabian inventive spirit
"Weissach now stands more than ever for top German engineering expertise and pure Swabian inventive spirit," said Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, at the opening. "Intelligent engineering leads to success not only in motor vehicle manufacturing, but in architecture as well. That's shown by these new buildings: our creative developers are able here to work hand-in-hand even more thoroughly than before," said Müller.
"They say, you know, that Baden-Württemberg is a state of thinkers and inventors – in Mönsheim and Weissach it is clear that is not just one of those sayings," added Prime Minister Kretschmann. "Our businesses in this region know that to survive in the competitive global market you need to maintain a technological and engineering lead. That is the Weissach development centre's purpose and to that end Baden-Württemberg, home to cutting-edge technology, provides the ideal infrastructure."
The research and development centre already stood out in the sector in the past, with the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer being the only player in the industry pooling all R&D together in one place: from concept to production car development (from the first design sketches via drive system, bodywork, chassis, electrics and electronics), including test runs on the centre's own road and off-road circuit. This also highlights the strength that Weissach provides within the Volkswagen group. As at the other two main Germany-based development sites in Wolfsburg and Ingolstadt, Weissach is responsible for fundamental building blocks and technologies that are used in sister brands' vehicles as well.
The new studio provides the design staff with optimum conditions for the whole process of creating the exterior and interior of Porsche vehicles. From the first vision all the way through to the finished form – the complete sports cars are created under one roof. The architectural layout of the new studio facilitates a maximum level of transparency and communication and strengthens interaction between the 'Preparation' and 'Flow Analysis' disciplines, whose staff work together with the designers in the same building complex.
Directly adjacent to the studio is the 'New Wind Tunnel'. The proximity aids daily collaboration and reduces the time cycles between design and aero-acoustic development. In this process the experts make multiple use of the wind tunnel, from the early stage of developing concept car designs right through to testing vehicles ready for full production. The building and equipment for the wind tunnel represent the single largest element of the sports car manufacturer's 150 million euro investment at this site. The core objectives of the new wind tunnel lie in more energy-efficient aerodynamics, even greater motoring safety and even better ride comfort for future vehicle generations. With the 'New Wind Tunnel' at the Weissach development centre Porsche is again making a valuable contribution to forward-looking, eco-friendly vehicle development.
The immediately adjacent Electronics Integration Centre (EIZ) brings together under one other roof the work of the Porsche developers in the fields of electrics and electronics, thus facilitating a perfect interplay of all components in the vehicle. Previously the individual electrical and electronics departments were spread across twelve different buildings on the Weissach site. This spread, which had evolved over time as the amount of electronics in cars increased, proved to be a genuine obstacle to speedy development as vehicle functions became ever more complex. The building's intelligent architecture, which assists the development process, now makes the EIZ a genuine accelerator of innovation.
Porsche Weissach Development Centre
The Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG development centre in Weissach (Germany-based not far from Stuttgart) has stood for decades for innovative and intelligent vehicle development. Since 1971, the company has been developing here the sports cars of the future, which are today rolling off the assembly lines at the Zuffenhausen, Leipzig and Osnabrück plants and which are sold in more than 125 markets around the globe. The test track in Weissach in the district of Böblingen has been in use since as far back as 1962. As a result of the development centre's expansion, the three new buildings now stand on the adjoining boundary of Mönsheim in the district of Enzkreis. Over 6,000 employees from Porsche (4,500) and partner companies (1,500) currently work at the centre in development, motor sports, purchasing and supporting fields.