Willy Wonka granted just five lucky Golden Ticket holders access to his incredible chocolate factory, yet we consider ourselves just as fortunate, as Porsche invited us to be among the first of just four American journalists to see behind the closed doors of its 918 Spyder assembly plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany. Of course, there were no Oompa Loompas or flowing chocolate rivers, but the vast white hall tasked with producing only 918 examples of the automaker's limited-production flagship reveal
If you've ever been on a tour of an automotive factory, you know how mesmerizing it can be to see humans and robots work together to build our four-wheeled friends. The swift automation, the cleanliness, the trained hands deftly fitting pieces together and watchful eyes inspecting every piece of the car, it's all quite impressive, especially if the vehicle is one you, as an observer, are fond of. Even just seeing a fresh, gleaming badge being applied to immaculately painted sheet metal is enough
For a division whose sole purpose is to remove the understatement from its parent company's cars, AMG headquarters in Affalterbach, Germany are nondescript. From the outside it might almost be easier to believe that the small complex makes spatulas or spreadsheets, as opposed to some of the world's most luxuriously brutish automotive machinery.
Automotive assembly plants have a reputation of being crusty, grungy places – often in stark contrast to the new cars they're assembling. But the truth is that modern auto plants are surprisingly clinical in their cleanliness. These days, you can almost hear company officials boasting that their assembly lines are almost clean enough to eat off of – so that's just what Rolls-Royce has gone and done.