The core development work
The actual development phase begins when prototype
vehicles are available. ‘We then conduct tests together
with the tyre manufacturers on different tracks. We do
these joint tests to ensure that the same conditions pre-
vail for every tyre – in other words, we make sure they
are tested at the same time, in the same place, with the
same vehicle, on the same track.’ The in-house test
track in Weissach, however, is not suitable for testing
tyres. It is too small and the weather conditions are not
ideal. ‘The tests are often conducted in southern Europe.
The sun shines there, so we have optimal conditions for
testing how the tyres handle in dry conditions and when
changing lanes,’ says Haupt. The tyres on the 911 and
Boxster sports cars are tested on the Northern Loop of
the Nürburgring and in Nardò, the world’s fastest test
track owned by Porsche Engineering. ‘Both tracks are
challenging and make high demands on the tyres.’
A tyre must meet 33 testing criteria
At top speeds, it is tested whether the tyres give the
vehicles sufficient stability, how they handle when driv-
ing in wet conditions and braking in dry conditions, how
they affect the comfort of the ride, etc. Haupt and his
team work together with the tyre industry to go through
a total of 33 different testing criteria. The test drivers are
given an evaluation form on which they can give each
criterion a mark between one and ten. ‘A mark of ten is
outstanding and only very seldom given. Eight or nine is
the level needed for approval and a mark of four or five
is not acceptable. In such cases, the design needs to
Every newly developed Porsche must prove itself first on the racetrack. The tyres are an essential element of the overall performance.
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