• Nov 23, 2010
Porsche 918 Spyder Clay Model – Click above for high-res image gallery

Porsche may have inadvertently given us our best glimpse yet at the upcoming production version of the company's 918 Spyder. The German sports car manufacturer has announced its intention to invest mountains of cash in its Weissach facility, and has released a bevy of images from inside the studio walls to mark the occasion. Tucked among the images of designers furiously sketching away and engineers toying with crash-test dummies is one very interesting shot of a 918 clay model. Of particular interest is that single, massive side-exit exhaust nestled behind the passenger door; clearly a different design from the double-stacked tips of the concept. Could this be a 1:3 scale clay of the future production car? Or is it just an older take on the 918 that predates the eventual showcar? We won't know one way or the other until the eventual production car makes its debut.

Porsche says that it intends to invest €150 million (around $202M USD) in its Weissach facility through the addition of a new wind tunnel. Additionally, the company plans to open a new state-of-the-art design center and what it calls an "electronic-integration center." We aren't positive, but our guess is that portion of the facility will play a big role in the Porsche hybrid program moving forward. Hit the jump for the official press release.



[Source: Porsche]
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Porsche is investing around 150 million euros in its Weissach development centre

Stuttgart. With extensive construction projects, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is now implementing a long-term strategic site plan for its research and development centre in Weissach (Baden-Württemberg). The sports car manufacturer is investing around 150 million euros in a high-tech wind tunnel, a state-of-the-art design centre and an innovative electronics integration centre, etc.

The technology implemented in the new wind tunnel will also meet future requirements on vehicle development, which is increasingly focussing on energy efficiency. "The new system will help us to maintain Porsche's top position in the fields of aerodynamics and design and to further extend our lead. Outstanding design with optimal aerodynamic efficiency have always been classic Porsche strongholds", says Wolfgang Dürheimer, Porsche AG Board of Management Member for Research and Development. As the system will not only be used for Porsche's internal developments, but will also be extensively available for Porsche customer development, it offers direct access from the adjacent design studio, and separate entrances for the discrete completion of customer development projects.

Above all, a new studio will offer more space for the Porsche designers, who are involved from the very earliest concept phase of each vehicle development process. Due to extended tasks, increased capacities are urgently required in the Weissach centre of competence for sports car construction.

Sub-areas which were previously scattered throughout several buildings at Porsche's Weissach site can be bundled in the future electronics integration centre. Dürheimer: "This spatial proximity is a major advantage. The close interaction of our suppliers' various electrical system/electronics experts and colleagues from related specialist fields during development will contribute significantly to the success of our work, particularly in the case of electronics, which now play a role in virtually every vehicle component." Besides investing in systems and buildings, Porsche is also increasing its staffing levels. Around 100 engineers are to be recruited in the first stage alone.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like this better (as a production design)...seems to have lost the huge side scoop...looks smoother/sleeker...less like a "design concept". I won't be able to afford one, but hope it's coming to the US.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm just amazed at how guys can turn a lump of clay into that work of art.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I really wish they wouldn't make this car a hybrid. Just drop in a massaged naturally aspirated Carrera GT's V10 in and call it a day.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Those wheel decals look a lot like the current RS Spyder wheels for the 911 Turbo S, which are the wheels I'd expect to see the car testing on (since they're designed for an AWD car); so, I'm leaning towards production-ready version.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As long as it doesn't get the stripper heel rims the original had, it'll look fine.

      I am aware that I will probably be downranked for this, but I did not like those translucent rims. They looked cheap.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I just downgraded both of you guys for those comments. Us autobloggers round these parts don't like it when out-of-bloggers come round talking that revolution stuff. Round here we hate Bangle, love Porsche and BMW, love hatchbacks, wish every sedan came in wagon form with 500 hp, and think that lighter is better than more hp.... even though the GT-R has proved us all wrong.

        We also overrate Honda and under rate Nissan and Toyota. We root for Hyuandai and Mazda but wish Chrysler would die. We believe that Acura is a waste of effort and that they should have made V8's.

        We believe that pet is superior to gasoline and that hybrids are a waste of technology. We also hate every student rendering created.

        Oh yea, we also hate a new model if it ever weighs more than it's predessor. And we call all cars without a 3rd pedal a slush box, no matter how fast it shifts.

        Ummm, yea, that's about it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Who said i'm an out-of-blogger?
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is just a clay model of the 918 concept before it was made. It has the side exhaust which are said to be changed to the rear. Other than the wheels, this is no different than the concept.