A geek's guide to Porsche's secret development centre: part 3

In the third part of our insider's guide to the Porsche Development Centre Weissach, we get hot and cold

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The climate chamber

Whether it’s an arctic minus 40 or plus 90 degrees Celsius (as can occur inside a car parked in Arizona), the temperatures in the four climate chambers in Weissach are anything but comfortable. Yet every new sports car has to withstand these conditions in the climate-controlled room several times during the development process.

In addition to the extreme temperatures, each vehicle has to pass some serious durability tests: for example, a technician might pick up a paint spray gun and spray the windows with water after a night at 18 degrees below zero. The engine would then be left running and the windshield must be defrosted within a set timeframe.

Other tests focus on ensuring that the large central display is always easy to read, even at 40 degrees Celsius and in direct sunlight generated by an artificial sun. Tests also ensure that the door handles don’t jam at 40 below.

Meanwhile, in the nearby climate wind tunnel, driving at extreme temperatures, such as at the notorious Towne Pass in Death Valley (which has a gradient of around six per cent over 27 kilometres), can be simulated on a chassis dynamometer, with an experienced test bench driver behind the wheel. Electric vehicles must pass the same tests as their combustion engined siblings.

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