Written By : Nehan Rashid
Picture : Andrew Florin, Google
THE ONLY HISTORY THAT CAN BE CONSIDERED FUN
henever we talk about a Porsche, the first thing that comes up in our mind is the 911. In an age where most of the manufacturers have lost their main intentions, Porsche remains a brand that has been sculpting the market according to its own needs. It was 1943, when the company’s founders Mr. Ferdinand Porsche and his son Ferdinand (“Ferry”) set foot inside a shop with 200 employees, in order to build a car that individuals aspire to own. However, it was the younger Porsche who helped grow the new company and played an instrumental role in designing the first Porsche sports car, the 356.
“After which everything followed like a row of dominoes.”
The iconic “911” story started with the 901 in 1963. Designed by Ferdinand ‘Butzi’ Porsche, grandson of Ferdinand Porsche, the model was made to be the replacement for the 356 and was originally set to be sold as the 901, its internal design number. However, Peugeot the French manufacturer claimed the rights to any three-digit car names with zero in the middle, so Porsche changed the name, and the 911 moniker was born.
The original 911 had a 2.0-litre air-cooled flat six engine, mounted in the curved rear of the car. Thisiconic Butzi design lasted until 1993, as over the years Porsche carried out myriad styling tweaks and changes. This included numerous engine capacity upgrades that ultimately lead to the 3.2 litres in the 1983 Carrera 3.2 and 3.6 litres in the 964.
After the coupe, came the mesmerizing Targa, whose name derived from Porsche’s multiple triumphs in the Targa Florio race. It was first unveiled in 1967 and was created through Porsche’s misinformation that convertibles were to be made “illegal” in the US. But, the marque lacked a proper convertible until the introduction of the 1983 model, which had a proper convertible variantas an option. It was revealed as a concept in 1981.
Porsche also released its first turbo model, the 930 in 1975. With a comparatively large 3.0-litre engine, ‘whale tail’ spoiler and trademark wide bodywork, it was a car that really stood out. Unfortunately, in 1988 the old timer was replaced by the 964 that wore the badge of being the most radically altered 911 since its creation. With a more modern design, the 964 followed the same 911 recipe and remained true to its roots. But it was replaced in 1993 by the 993, which turned out to be even better. And as the 993 was the last air-cooled generation, thousands of hardcore Porsche purists worshipped it as,
But nothing lasts forever, andthe 996 replaced the 993 in 1998, again with the boast of being the most thoroughly overhauled model since the 911s birth. The 996 also had the title of being one of the best-selling 911s ever produced with over 170,000 units being sold. However, at the end of the day, the model turned out to be a car that was either hated or loved. A phrase that was very unique and rare in Porsche’s dictionary.
But time moved on and the 911 went back to its trademark ‘bug-eye’ headlights when the ‘egg’ head-lighted 996 was replaced by the 997 in 2004. Considered as the driver’s car, the 997 was Porsche’s way of saying that water-cooled engines can also be fun. This helped the 997 have a remarkable longevity of over eight years that was slightly broken up by a 2009 facelift. The model turned out to be so loved, it even spawned the special edition Sport Classic, with a ‘duck-tail’ spoiler and Fuchs alloys in order to showcase Porsche’s long heritage as a driver’s brand.
Thencame Porsche’s 991 generation. Unveiled in 2011, this particular generation had gone through one of the most extensive redevelopments in the 911’s history. Being built on a new platform, it was only the third model in the 911’s 50-year life that had received such drastic changes. The eighth generation of the Porsche 911, the 992, was introduced in 2018. Fulfilling its job as the current generation of the Porsche 911, the 992has a lot in common with the 991. But when it comes to representing the brands rich heritage in terms of style and performance, the 992 does a brilliant job.
However, don’t consider Porsche as a manufacturer who just makes practical sports cars, because when it comes to racing, the history goes much deeper. Starting from the Le Mans, to any race you can think of, a 911 was always there being the hardest competitor to beat. This was becausethe firm always treated the race track as a lab test which resulted the 911 to be the cause of two-thirds of Porsche’s 30,000 races that were won. Its popularity doesn’t even need to be explained, but it was the creator himself, Mr. Ferdinand Porsche who had the best description of the 911’s qualities,
“The 911 is the only car you could drive on an African safari or at Le Mans, to the theatre or through New York City traffic.”
Now, even though the 911 has become Porsche’s trademark car, the brand has still diversified itself. With the introduction of models like the 718 Boxster, Cayenne SUV, and Panamera Sport Turismo, Porsche is a brand that has a car for everyone.Even to meet the future market, the marquehas released its all electric Taycan Turbo S that is considered as one of the best cars you can buy at the current time. Hence, from a manufacturer exclusively for sports cars, Porsche has evolved to become a major player in almost all the competed segments in the market which personally makes me feel like saying,
“Es Lebe Porsche.”