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The main difference between a #porsche and other brands will always be that, with us, the driver has a choice.” Chief Designer, #michaelmauer, pauses briefly to underscore the point he’s about to make: “Whether they want to enjoy a computer-assisted ride or drive themselves, there will always be a choice. That’s why #porsche will always have a steering wheel.”
The brand’s stylists, at their new #design center in Weissach, are very clear about their priorities when it comes to defining the aesthetic and functional orientation of the interior. The #porsche of the digital age is unmistakably a sports car, and that means it’s a driver-focused affair. “And it’s fast,” adds Mauer. He’s not referring to the road, even though that’s true too. Mauer’s reference was a nod to the speed with which drivers can access the car’s functions. “The challenge is: How quickly do I find something? How quickly do I grasp it?”
Mission E gives some indication of how that will look. The idea is for the driver to be able to act very directly. What once required a lot of buttons will be a breeze in the future, with underlying digital assistance.
Mauer sketches out Porsche’s approach to this task as follows: “We first discuss things within the group. People suggest ideas. Quick sketches emerge. Then the topic is developed further in a project group, and after a short time—in many cases less than a month—we have a result. We work a lot with the trial-and-error method. Errors are welcome, because they make clear what doesn’t work.”
The 911 as point of reference
The primary objective is always a fascinating driving experience. The user experience is the focus of all the work that goes into the car. All research begins with a look back at the past. Using the example of a 1973 911 T, designer Thorsten Klein describes the elements that make the interior of a #porsche unmistakable to this day. He points to the round instruments with the tachometer in the center. “That obviously isn’t present in the all-electrically powered Mission E, but the principle of driver-oriented instruments is naturally the same.” Klein has been working in Weissach for more than ten years. Still in love, he caresses the cockpit mount, which traces a straight line—a line of reference for drivers, who are duty-bound to keep their eyes on the road. “The 911,” he says somewhat wistfully, as if to himself, “is our reference for every new development.”
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