Porsche counts down its top 5 most grueling functionality tests

Every automaker does its best to ensure the its vehicles are up to snuff for their intended purposes. That includes Porsche, which has been beating its products up for decades at the Weissach Development Center.

To cap off the first season of Porsche’s “Top 5” countdowns on YouTube, the brand has highlighted the toughest tests its vehicles must pass to receive a final stamp of approval. From Cayennes, to Caymans, to 911s, each Porsche encounters Weissach at some point in its development.

Kicking things off is the skid pad test, where a car’s handling is honed and observed. Lateral acceleration tests happen here, measured in g forces. It’s in this test where the edges of stability, performance, and safety meet.

The test track is Porsche’s core element at Weissach. No, this isn’t a road course. It’s more like a gauntlet, encompassing metal potholes, a salt-water tank, and a jump test. Each portion of the test track looks at a specific area of the vehicle. The potholes simulate treacherous road conditions, while the salt water lets Porsche engineers check the corrosion properties of various materials on the underside of the vehicle. The jump test stresses the suspension and axles.

Moving into the wind tunnel, Porsche tests each of its cars with wind forces up to 186 mph, the same speed at which planes take off from a runway. It’s here where Porsche’s most innovative rear wings come to life to tackle downforce duties.

Weissach wouldn’t be a proving ground without some dirt and mud. And that’s exactly where the Porsche’s SUVs go to prove themselves. The test includes a muddy water basin, rugged terrain, gravel, and inclines to ensure the SUVs will be ready to tackle whatever owners throw at them. Fun fact: Porsche used the same off-road course to develop the 959, which won the Paris Dakar Rally.

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Finally, it’s the most brutal of tests at Weissach: the crash test. Porsche has been crash testing its vehicles at this facility since the end of the 1980s. Porsche puts its vehicles through a slew of crash scenarios to meet various government requirements. Before this facility, Porsche still performed crash tests to ensure occupant safety, but instead, it dropped vehicles from a crane to simulate crashes. Now that’s what we call commitment.

–Sean Szymkowski

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