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Old January 31st, 2002, 09:31 AM   #1
Magic Mtn Dan
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One reason SoCal Porsche owners got involved in Cayenne market research...

Porsche has a "Porsche Engineering Services" location down this way. Here's an interesting article with an engineering slant...

Porsche Engineering makes tomorrow's car a virtual reality. Today.

Plays key role in the successful realization of steel industry's ULSAB-AVC -

Plans to step up development work for U.S. OEMs and suppliers

DETROIT, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- They may look like your ordinary cars, but the two vehicle concepts, introduced here today by American Iron and Steel Institute AISI, are way ahead of their real-world counterparts in terms of performance and efficiency. Initiated three years ago as the steel industry's Ultra Light Steel Auto Body-Advanced Vehicle Concepts project, Porsche Engineering Group, the customer engineering development company of German sports car maker Porsche, through its U.S.-based Porsche Engineering Services, Inc., took on the challenge to deliver the engineering framework for realizing significant improvements in automobile safety, economy and environmental compatibility, at, above all, affordable costs and in the near future.

AISI claims that the two resulting vehicles, a compact, 2,000 lbs. 2-door hatchback and a mid-size, 2,200 lbs. 4-door sedan, could achieve combined driving cycles of significantly better than 50 mpg, according to computer simulation testing. At the same time, both cars tested safe enough to potentially qualify for five-star crash ratings, the highest possible in Europe and the U.S. Feasibility studies confirm that the designs would cost no more to build than current comparable vehicles.

"It has been a tough, complex assignment, but thanks to our very good and close cooperation with the steel consortium and its industry material experts we were able to deliver important results," states Dr. Ulrich Schiefer, Porsche Engineering's Managing Director. Alluding to the Company's increased focus on the North American market Schiefer adds, "the advanced vehicle concepts will be a very convincing calling card in our efforts to increase development work for the U.S. auto industry."

As a manufacturer of sophisticated sports cars and a 50-year racing pedigree second-to-none, Porsche has always focused on lightweight design and materials. And although the Company has a wide range of materials available Porsche utilizes advanced steel for the body structure of the successful 911 Carrera model line with excellent results in terms of weight and safety characteristics.

It was this expertise together with a track record of successfully completing both in-house and client development projects from the delivery of whole vehicles or components, such as GM's Opel Zafira or Harley-Davidson's new V-Rod engine, to a number of past projects with the International Steel Consortium on lightweight body design and modules, which let the consortium turn to Porsche Engineering for its most ambitious venture, so far.

Aside from the principal requirement to intelligently apply the latest steel materials and manufacturing technologies the most intriguing task for the Porsche engineers was to complement steel's benefits with the development of an innovative total design concept in order to meet the project's technical conditions. ULSAB-AVC features an innovative package containing a host of smart and unusual engineering solutions such as a completely new body-in-white structure with integrated front seats that greatly enhance passenger-cell rigidity.

Since references for setting ULSAB-AVC targets were the U.S. PNGV and EUCAR, the European CO2 reduction program, both with highly ambitious configurations, the development focused on two different sized vehicle classes, yet, for economy sake, based on a common platform. As a result, the two cars share 22% of the vehicle components and have identical front-end architectures. This was achieved in spite of different and often conflicting safety regulations in the United States and Europe.

The unique front-end module greatly contributes to the excellent crash performance of both vehicles. It includes a steel sub frame to which most of the engine bay components, just as the suspension, power train and radiator are attached. The sub frame rear attachments break away in the event of a full front-end collision, allowing the power train to move rearward into a specially designed tunnel rather than intrude into the passenger compartment. For this purpose, an ultra-efficient, 3-cylinder engine package, a gasoline and a diesel version, was specified in the design.

In addition, the vehicles were designed to have a more equalized distribution of total vehicle mass between the front and rear axles for improved vehicle handling. This is evident in the design of the forward position of the front wheels and a power train arrangement (transmission in front of engine) that is radically different than conventional designs.

At a time, when the auto world is in love with spectacular dream cars and far reaching automotive visions, Porsche Engineering together with steel industry material experts have produced forward-looking, yet pragmatic vehicle concepts providing the auto industry with a blueprint of how to influence the design and production of cars that are not only safer, more economical and environmentally responsible, but, at the same time, affordable and fun to drive by today's consumers.

A full discussion of technical details of ULSAB-AVC is available in the ULSAB-AVC Overview Report, on http://www.ULSAB-AVC.org.

Porsche Engineering Services, Inc., based in Troy, MI, and Huntington Beach, CA, is the North American arm of Porsche Engineering Group GmbH, Porsche's wholly owned customer engineering development company. Porsche is the only car manufacturer that makes its wide-ranging expertise in the development and production of vehicles available to clients from a variety of industries. Headquartered in close vicinity and with direct access to Porsche's renowned Weissach R & D center near Stuttgart, Germany, Porsche Engineering directs and markets the worldwide customer oriented development activities. Aside from facilities in Germany and the U.S., the Company has branches in the Czech Republic and Japan.
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