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Wind-tunnel plan to punt Porsche

2010-11-24 07:01

FUTURE MODEL: Porsche is investing R1.3bn in a new wind-tunnel and electronics division at its research facility to ensure hybrid supercars, such as this clay 918 Spyder, become a reality.

Porsche is under pressure from parent VW to nearly double its sales to around 150 000 units a year.

It's a dauntng task, even for a brand with unrivalled cachet. Sales of its signature 911 are dwindling globally and have been overtaken by the Cayenne SUV and four-door Panamera performance sedan.

Porsche knows it must find new market niches to increase sales and an entry-level car slotting in below the Boxster range and a smaller SUV have been proposed as solutions.

To help, VW has announced that Porsche will invest R1.3-billion in a new design centre with a dedicated wind-tunnel to enable Porsche to execute styling changes more quickly and shorten development timetables.

The design centre will have an innovative electronics division, probably dedicated to battery and electric-drive research for hybrid vehicles such as the company's radical 918 Spyder.

The Porsche statement added: "Increased capacity is urgently required in the Weissach centre for sports-car construction."

Porsche’s new wind tunnel and upgraded design facility will create 100 jobs for engineering staff.

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