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2018-11-05 11:31
a

Image: Supplied

Porsche has been putting its eight generation 911 prototypes through a final testing programme around the globe – putting the new sports cars under a great deal of stress.

They are shuttling between climate zones with temperature differences of up to 85 degrees Celsius; sprinting across elevation changes spanning more than four kilometres; enduring traffic jams in major cities and setting new records on the racetracks.

Porsche announced the new 911 will be introduced to the European market at the beginning of 2019. 

“In addition to its outstanding performance, it’s the Porsche 911’s suitability for daily use that has always put it in a class of its own," comments Andreas Pröbstle, project manager for the 911.

Function tests and stress tests

The testing first focuses on Porsche’s traditional core areas of expertise, such as the chassis and engine, which have been enhanced even further to heighten both performance and everyday use say the automaker. 

Additionally, there are function tests and stress tests for the entirely new operating concept in the cockpit, as well as instruments and displays.

The new driver assistance systems and extended connectivity must also rise to the challenges of the strenuous testing marathon: Porsche Connect differs from country to country, so testing its operation and functions is very resource-intensive.

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Stress tests under extreme conditions 

In hot countries such as the Gulf States in the Middle East or Death Valley in the USA, the air conditioning, thermal management, and combustion behaviour need to pass functional tests in temperatures up to 50 degrees Celsius – so the interior components must not expand or contract and make noises when exposed to heat, for example.

In Finland’s minus 35 degrees temperatures, the test agenda focuses on areas such as cold start, heating and air conditioning, traction, handling and braking behaviour, as well as the response speed of the control systems related to driving dynamics.

The Nurburgring is traditionally a part of the rigorous Porsche test and development programme. The engine, transmission, brakes and chassis must prove their mettle at the demanding racetrack located in the Eifel mountain region.

In Italy, the test cars are driven round the high-speed Nardò test tracks, where the focus is not only on top speed but also cooling and handling.

The test vehicles reach the lowest point of their endurance run in Death Valley, which descends to around 90 metres below sea level; while the thin air on Mount Evans, Colorado – reaching heights of 4300 metres – was the challenge for the biturbo charging and the fuel system.

By the time, testing is complete, the cars have been driven around three million kilometres in total.

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