Porsche wants to consolidate output Boxster and Cayman at Zuffenhausen site

Article by Christian A., on July 18, 2014

Porsche is planning to consolidate output of its Boxster and Cayman sports cars at its main plant in Zuffenhausen, Stuttgart after deciding to use parent Volkswagen Group's Osnabrueck site as an overflow facility for Cayenne production. Starting next summer, VW’s Osnabrueck site will produce 20,000 Cayennes annually to relieve pressure on Porsche's Leipzig site.

The Osnabrueck site currently produces some Boxster models when the Zuffenhausen plant is overloaded. According to Porsche, it will make over EUR400 million ($546 million) in investment at Zuffenhausen, which also builds the 911 and 918, to pave way for additional Boxster and Cayman production.

Uwe Hueck, chief of Porsche's works council, said in a statement that all two-door Porsche models will be built at the carmaker’s Zuffenhausen site in the future.

According to Porsche, around three quarters of the investment would be spent to build a new facility for building car bodies. Porsche disclosed that overflow production for the Boxster and Cayman at Osnabrueck will continue until 2016.

Porsche derived the development of the new Cayman from the body-in-white of the Porsche Boxster. By employing a mixed aluminum-steel construction, Porsche was able to give the new Cayman a lightweight body-in-white that is lighter by around 47 kg, while still boasting of a greater static torsional rigidity (plus 40 percent).

These developments mean that the new Cayman delivers a more precise drive than before. While the Cayman’s larger glass surfaces, larger wheels and other extra features do offset some of the weight savings, the DIN weights of its variants are lighter than their respective predecessor. In fact, a standard Cayman S is around 30 kg lighter than its predecessor.

With lower weight, the new Cayman needs less power to be operated for daily drives. Furthermore, lower weight means the Cayman consumes less fuel. Ultimately, when the full power of the engine is tapped, the Cayman delivers greater performance.

To achieve its lightweight nature, the new Cayman only employs steel where needed. If it is possible to use lightweight metals, these materials are employed. For instance, the body of the Cayman employs aluminum sheet, die-cast aluminum, magnesium as well as high-strength steels as needed.

This minimizes material usage while the same time ensures that the body is very rigid. In fact, aluminum accounts for around 44 percent of the new Cayman’s body-in-white, like the front body, floor assembly and rear body as well as the doors, front and rear lids.

Interestingly, the aluminum rear lid of the new Cayman weighs just 6.6 kg – this value already includes hinges – which means it is lighter by more than half compared to the previous version of this body-in-white part. Furthermore, the reduced weight is achieved while attaining a nearly 150-percent surge in static torsional rigidity, an over 30-percent hike in static flexural rigidity as well as an over 70-percent increase in dynamic flexural rigidity.

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