Apple running a secret car design lab in Germany, report claims

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Rumors of Apple's interest in developing an electric car have persisted for months now.

Over the last 12 months, we've heard rumblings that Apple's car development team is almost 1,000 engineers and researchers deep.

What's more, it's no secret that Apple has poached a number of employees from high-end luxury automakers such as BMW, Porsche and, of course, Tesla.

Now, whether or not an Apple Car actually sees the light of day is another matter altogether, but it's impossible to ignore that Apple is seriously exploring such a possibility. 

The latest report about Apple's car plans comes to us courtesy of the German-language Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (F.A.Z.), which relays that Apple has a secret auto-oriented research facility in Germany where a team of 15-20 employees with deep experience across all facets of the car design and manufacturing process come up with new and interesting ideas. Specifically, the employees are said to be "progressive thinkers" with backgrounds in engineering, software and hardware design, and sales.

In a way, think of it as a standard tech incubator, albeit one run by Apple with a decidedly car-oriented mission.

On a related note, Apple this month managed to hire Chris Porritt, a seasoned auto-industry vet and former Tesla vice president of engineering to presumably oversee the company's car project.

Intriguing to be sure, but with the most recent reports indicating that Apple's rumored partnerships with companies such as Daimler and BMW have fallen apart in recent months, it remains to be seen if Apple's interest in cars will ever result in a physical product available for purchase.

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