STUTTGART — Seven tons of paperwork.
That was what it took for Porsche just to secure building and regulatory permits before it could begin construction of its first all-electric vehicle. And it symbolizes the hurdle the German sports car maker had to clear to create one of the most ambitious cars in its history.
The Porsche Taycan EV is an engineering feat — a cleaner, quieter reincarnation of the Porsche 911 that delivers up to 750 hp and moves from 0 to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds.
But equally remarkable is where and how the car is manufactured.
Rather than take an easy route and assemble the Taycan on cheap rural land far from the tidy little neighborhood in congested Stuttgart, Porsche chose to squeeze it into its cramped 152-acre Zuffenhausen campus, a warren of brick and concrete structures that is home to the sports car maker's headquarters and the factory that turns out its flagship 911.
To do that, Porsche planners essentially constructed a factory within a factory in this tightly packed industrial and residential neighborhood.
The decision to spend more than $770 million in old Zuffenhausen on what is arguably Porsche's future was more about symbolism than economics.
"If you decided in a commercial way, you don't decide for Zuffenhausen, because it's expensive here to build a facility to produce a car in this way," Porsche production and logistics boss Albrecht Reimold told Automotive News at the plant's official opening here last week.
"But the heart and soul of this brand is here in Zuffenhausen, because it was the birthplace of the 356 and the 911," Reimold said. "Now, this new model, the Taycan, is another icon in the future."