Porsche 918 Spyder Clay Model
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.


Related GalleryPorsche Weissarch Research and Development

[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.