From Academic Kids

Porsche Logo
The Porsche 912, a Porsche of the 1960s
The Porsche 912, a Porsche of the 1960s

Porsche (Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG), is a German manufacturer of sports cars, founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, the engineer who created the first Volkswagen. The company is located in Zuffenhausen, a city district of Stuttgart.

Porsche has a reputation for producing vehicles that, despite their high performance, are reliable and tractable enough to be used for daily driving, and of high manufacturing quality and durability, but perhaps less visual excitement than their competitors. This reputation is contrasted with that of Ferrari, their main competitor, whose machines are famous for their design flair and temperamental nature.

Porsche has for many years offered consultancy services to various other car manufacturers. Studebaker, Seat, Daewoo and Subaru have consulted Porsche on engineering for their cars.

The headquarters and main factory are still at Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, but for the Cayenne and Carrera GT there is a new plant at Leipzig. Some Boxster and Cayman production is outsourced to Valmet Automotive in Finland.



The first Porsche, the Porsche 64 from 1938, used many components from the Volkswagen Beetle. The second Porsche model, the Porsche 356 sports car of 1948, was initially built in Gmnd, Austria, where the company was evacuated to during war times, but after building 49 cars the company relocated back to Zuffenhausen. Many people regard the 356 as the first Porsche simply because it was the first model sold by the fledgling company. Ferdinand Porsche worked with his son Ferry Porsche in designing the 356 but died soon after the first prototype was built. Again, the car used components from the Beetle including its engine, gearbox and suspension. However, the 356 had several evolutions while in production and many VW parts were replaced by Porsche-made parts. The last 356s were powered by 100% Porsche designed engines. The sleek bodywork was designed by Erwin Komenda who had also designed the body of the Beetle.

Missing image
The 959, of which only 200 were built.

In 1963, after some success in motor-racing, the company launched the Porsche 911, another air-cooled, rear-engined sportscar, this time with a 6-cylinder "boxer" engine. The car, which is still in production, has become their most well-known model, successful on the race-track, in rallies, and in terms of sales. Far more than any other model, the Porsche brand is defined by the 911. A cost-reduced model with the same body but 356-derived running gear (including its four-cylinder engine) was sold as the 912.

The company has always had a close relationship with Volkswagen, and as already mentioned, the first Porsche cars used many Volkswagen components. The two companies collaborated in 1969 to make the VW-Porsche 914 and 914-6, in 1976 with the Porsche 924, which used many Audi components and was built at an Audi factory. Porsche Cayenne, introduced in 2002, shares the entire body with VW Touareg, which are built at the koda factory in Bratislava. Both Audi and koda are wholly-owned subsidiaries of VW.

Ferdinand Porsche's grandson, Ferdinand Pich, was chairman and CEO of the Volkswagen Group from 1993 to 2002. With half of all voting shares, he also remains the largest individual shareholder of Porsche AG.

Porsche's 2002 introduction of the Cayenne also marked the unveiling of a new production facility in Leipzig, Saxony, which today accounts for nearly half of Porsche's annual output.

In 2004, production of the Porsche Carrera GT commenced in Leipzig, and at EUR 450,000.00 it's the most expensive Porsche ever built.

Missing image
The 550 "James Dean" Spyder; only fifty were made. However, The 550A went to full production


Porsche has been successful in many branches of motor-racing, scoring a total of more than 23,000 victories. Particular success has been in sportscar racing, notably the 24 hours of Le Mans where they have won 16 times (more than any other company), and in the Paris Dakar Rally. Many Porsche race cars have also been run successfully at Le Mans and in other races by "private" teams, financed and run without any factory support. Recently, 996-generation 911 GT3s have won in their class at Le Mans.

Porsche has also participated in Formula One racing, with mixed results; its first foray (as a constructor) from 1958 to 1964 produced just a single race win, claimed by Dan Gurney at the 1962 French Grand Prix. Porsche returned in 1983 after nearly two decades away, supplying engines badged as TAG units for the McLaren Team. Porsche powered cars took two constructor championships in 1984 and 1985 and three driver crowns in 1984, 1985 and 1986. Porsche returned to F1 again in 1991 as an engine supplier, however this time with disastrous results: Porsche-powered Footwork cars failed to score a single point, and failed to even qualify for over half the races that year; Porsche has not participated in Formula One since.

Major Victories and Championships

  • 14 Makes and Team World Championship (1964, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1994)
  • 8 Long Distance World Championship
  • 3 IMSA Supercar-Series (1991, 1992, 1993)
  • 6 German Racing Championship (1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985)
  • 20 European Hill Climbing Championship
  • 3 Formula 1 Driver World Championship (1984, 1985, 1986)
  • 2 Formula 1 Constructor World Championhip (1984, 1985)
  • 26 Formula 1 victories (1962, 1 win; 1984, 12 wins; 1985, 6 wins; 1986, 4 wins; 1987, 3 wins)
  • 20 Daytona 24 Hour (1968, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1995, 2003)
  • 15 IMSA Supercar-Race (USA)
  • 16 Le Mans 24 Hour (1970, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998)
  • 17 Sebring 12 Hour (1960, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988)
  • 11 Targa Florio (1956, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973)
  • 4 Rallye Monte Carlo (1968, 1969, 1970, 1978)
  • 2 Paris-Dakar Rallye (1984, 1986)


See: Category:Porsche vehicles


Consumer models

Racing models

Prototypes and concept cars

Pronunciation of "Porsche"

In German "Porsche" is pronounced porsh-uh (IPA 'pɔrʃʌ). In English, the German form is often heard from official Porsche sources and from some Porsche owners and enthusiasts. Outside of these groups however, the pronunciation porsh (IPA pɔrʃ) is standard. There is a habit in American English towards over-compensating the e, which then results into pronouncing it as Pors-scha (IPA 'pɔrʃʃɑ).


External links

es:Porsche fr:Porsche he:פורשה nl:Porsche ja:ポルシェ no:Porsche pl:Porsche sv:Porsche tr:Porsche zh:保时捷


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