10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Porsche (2024)

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10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Porsche (1)Scott Olson

Porsche has long stood at the pinnacle of automotive achievement. The automaker has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans 19 times—more than any other competitor—and has successfully competed in everything from rally racing to Formula 1. The history of Porsche vehicle production is equally impressive, as the company rose from the rubble of World War II to become one of the most widely recognized luxury and performance brands in the world today. Let’s dive into the history of Porsche with 10 facts you might not have known about the German brand.

  • Porsche Was Founded by an Ex-Mercedes Engineer

    10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Porsche (2)

    Ferdinand Porsche was born in 1875 in what is now the Czech Republic. Despite the fact that he had little formal education, from an early age Porsche was recognized as a brilliant engineer. In 1901, Porsche built the world’s first gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, a motorized carriage that used a Daimler internal-combustion engine to generate power for electric motors in the wheels. Soon, Porsche was hired as technical director of Stuttgart-based Daimler, where he worked on Mercedes race cars including the hugely successful Mercedes-Benz SSK.

  • Engineering Consultant

    10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Porsche (3)

    In 1931, Ferdinand Porsche launched the company that still bears his name today. It wasn’t a car-building operation: Dr. Ing h.c. F. Porsche GmbH was a consulting agency, supplying design and engineering expertise to various automakers. Soon after launching his company, Ferdinand Porsche received an assignment directly from German Chancellor Adolf Hitler: A project to build a simple, durable, affordable vehicle that could be purchased by everyday Germans, codenamed Volkswagen, or “people’s car.”

  • Porsche and World War II

    10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Porsche (4)

    Ferdinand Porsche unveiled the first Volkswagen prototype in 1935; in 1939, the Volkswagen factory began production, with Ferdinand Porsche appointed as an executive. As part of his work with the government of Nazi Germany, Porsche renounced his Czechoslovak citizenship, joined the Nazi Party, and became a member of the SS paramilitary group. Ferdinand Porsche contributed to the design and engineering of Nazi tanks and troop transport vehicles, and after World War II ended, he was arrested for war crimes including the use of forced labor, serving 20 months in prison in France.

  • Porsche Begins Building Its Own Cars

    10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Porsche (5)

    Following the end of World War II, Ferdinand Porsche’s son, Ferry, sought to build a sports car according to his father’s vision. In 1947, the first examples of the Porsche 356 were assembled in a small sawmill in Gmünd, Austria, where the Porsche family had moved operations to avoid Allied bombing. The 356 bore some resemblance to the Volkswagen, and like that vehicle, it used a rear-mounted four-cylinder engine along with some other VW components.

  • The 901, Or Rather, The 911

    10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Porsche (6)

    Porsche built several versions of the 356 until 1965, but by the end, the vehicle was badly out-of-date. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, grandson of the company’s founder, designed a new rear-engine sports car, this time with an air-cooled six-cylinder engine. The company intended to call this model 901, which was the internal code-name for the project, but Peugeot owned the trademark on all three-digit model numbers with a zero in the middle, so the name was swiftly changed to 911.

  • The 917 Launches a Racing Dynasty

    10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Porsche (7)

    Porsche found racing success with the 356, 911, and various competition-only prototypes, but the automaker’s rise to motorsport dominance began with the 917. First shown publicly in 1969, the 917 was the brainchild of Ferdinand Piëch, a grandson of Ferdinand Porsche who would later go on to lead the entire Volkswagen Group. The race car used an air-cooled mid-mounted flat-12 engine, and it was so compact, the driver’s feet sat ahead of the front axle. After some early developmental troubles, the 917 became a dominant endurance racer, winning the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Monza 1,000km, the Spa-Francorchamps 1000 km, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans back-to-back in 1970 and 1971. The 917 was a monster, reliably cresting 230 mph at Le Mans in an era when the typical racing prototype couldn’t break 200, and it launched Porsche on a path to becoming the winningest manufacturer in Le Mans history.

  • 911’s Near Death and Resurrection

    10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Porsche (8)

    The late 1970s were difficult for sports car companies, and in 1980 Porsche had its first year of financial losses. The 911 had gone without significant updates and was slated for cancellation, with the front-engine, V8-powered 928 intended to replace it. Newly-appointed CEO Peter Schutz, who was born in Germany but was raised in the U.S., realized that the impending death of the 911—considered the quintessential Porsche sports car—was contributing to low morale at Porsche. Schutz walked into the office of chief Porsche engineer Helmuth Bott, where a chart showed continued production of the 928 and 944, and the end of 911 production in 1981. In a scene that has become legend, Schultz took a marker from Bott’s desk, extending the 911’s line off the chart, onto the office wall, and out the door—signifying that the 911 would never be canceled. “Do we understand each other?” Schultz asked, and Bott nodded in the affirmative.

  • The World-Beating 959

    10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Porsche (9)

    In 1986, Porsche unveiled a supercar that shared the general shape of the 911, but was shockingly advanced in nearly every way: The 959. Developed to compete in Group B rally racing, the street-legal 959 had a twin-turbo engine making 444 horsepower, Kevlar composite bodywork, wide-body fenders, and all-wheel drive. It soon became the fastest production car in the world, sprinting from zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds and reaching a 197-mph top speed.

  • Water For the 911

    10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Porsche (10)

    Amazingly, from 1963 to 1997, Porsche never undertook a full redesign of the 911. In 1998, a brand-new sports car emerged. Internally known as Type 996, the all-new 911 had a completely redesigned body shell and an all-new flat-six engine that, for the first time, was cooled by water rather than air. Early 996s shared their front bodywork and some interior panels with the more affordable mid-engine Boxster, causing some controversy among Porsche fans, but today the 996 is considered the model that saved the Porsche 911.

  • SUVs, Sedans, and the Future

    10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Porsche (11)

    In 2002, Porsche introduced the Cayenne, the automaker’s first sport-utility vehicle. A few years later, in 2009, the four-door Panamera luxury sedan was launched. Today, Porsche’s best-selling model is the Macan, a small SUV, with the Cayenne not far behind. The automaker also sells an all-electric sport sedan, the Taycan, and is moving toward the future with plans for hybrid and all-electric sports cars.

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10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Porsche (2024)


10 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Porsche? ›

What Makes Porsche Cars Unique? They are reliable and offer an unmatched driving experience. Known for smooth ride quality and incredible shock absorption capability, Porsche cars are completely worth buying.

What is unique about Porsche? ›

What Makes Porsche Cars Unique? They are reliable and offer an unmatched driving experience. Known for smooth ride quality and incredible shock absorption capability, Porsche cars are completely worth buying.

What is the best Porsche ever? ›

The 10 best Porsches of all time
  1. Porsche 356. Though diminutive in stature, this rear-wheel-drive, rear-engined, two-seater defined what to expect in a modern sportscar – it was light, stiff and reliable. ...
  2. Porsche 917. ...
  3. Porsche 911 2.7 Carrera RS. ...
  4. Porsche 956 (and Porsche 962) ...
  5. Porsche 924 Carrera GT and variants. ...
  6. Porsche 959.
Nov 27, 2019

What color is Porsche famous for? ›

Black, white, and gray dominate the selections for all model series in Europe and the United States. In Europe, Jet Black Metallic is the most common choice for the 911, the Cayenne, and the Panamera.

What makes Porsche stand out? ›

1. Spot-On Engineering. It makes sense that a brand born from sports car racing has fine-tuned engineering down to a science. Porsche is renowned for key innovations like flat horizontally opposed engines, all-wheel drive systems, automatic stabilizers, and adaptive suspension systems.

Why everyone loves Porsche? ›

There is a reason why the Porsche 911 is termed an everyday supercar. This car looks gorgeous and gives enough comfort and luxury to everyone sitting there. Also, the 911 is a high-speed sports car. It is the epitome of design: speed, luxury, and efficiency.

What was Porsche originally called? ›

Ferdinand Porsche (1875–1951) founded the company called "Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH" with Adolf Rosenberger and Anton Piëch in 1931. The name is short for Ferdinand Porsche's full title in German, Doktor Ingenieur honoris causa lit.

What is the most fancy Porsche? ›

The legendary 1970 Porsche 917K holds the public record, as the Gulf Racing livery #22 from Le Mans sold for an astronomical $14,080,000. Sporting yet another famous livery, the Rothman's 1982 Porsche 956 brought $10,120,000 for its 35-year lap record at the Nürburgring.

What Porsche does Bill Gates have? ›

Gates, the 57-year-old behind Microsoft, has a long history of wealth, charity and, surprisingly, Porsches. Bill Gates Porsche 959 in silver is one rare beauty. Gates first purchased a Porsche 911 Turbo in 1979 and rumor has it that he was pulled over quite a few times in the blue sports car.

What is the average age of Porsche owners? ›

The average age of a Porsche owner is around 50 years old.

What is the Widowmaker Porsche? ›

The 930 proved very fast but also very demanding to drive, and due to its short wheelbase and rear engine layout, was prone to oversteer and turbo-lag. It acquired the nickname "the Widowmaker" after several crashes and deaths attributed to its handling characteristics, which were unfamiliar to many drivers.

What's the most desired Porsche? ›

What Are the Most Popular Porsche Models?
  • The Porsche 911. Many would claim the legendary Porsche 911 to be the undisputed king of sports cars. ...
  • The Porsche Taycan. ...
  • The Porsche Cayenne. ...
  • The Porsche Panamera. ...
  • The Porsche 718 Cayman. ...
  • The Porsche 718 Boxster.
Sep 22, 2023

What is the most sold Porsche ever? ›

The iconic two-door, rear-engined Porsche 911 sports car has served as the Porsche flagship model since 1964. With 40,400 sales in 2022, the 911 is still the most popular car among Porsche's long list of incredible sports models.

What is the most liked Porsche? ›

In terms of best-sellers, the Porsche Macan has been the undisputed Porsche king for a few years. U.S. sales in 2021 and 2022 topped 23,000. This compact SUV blazed onto the scene in 2015 and has been going strong ever since. In fact, it took just one year for the Macan to dominate national Porsche sales.

How did Porsche get their name? ›

Why is Porsche called Porsche? Quite simply, it wears the name of its founder, Ferdinand Porsche. Set up in 1931 to provide engineering consultancy services, the firm's first major contract came in the form of a brief from the German government to design a car for the people – a Volkswagen. Thus, the Beetle was born.

What are some facts about the Porsche logo? ›

For the design of the Porsche logo, Franz drew inspiration from Stuttgart's city seal, which features a rearing horse, and incorporated this into the centre of the shield shape. Since Stuttgart itself was founded around 950AD as a centre of horse-breeding and stud farms, the animal was a fitting addition to the emblem.

Which is the fastest Porsche? ›

The Porsche 918 Spyder is one of the holy trinity of cars. It featured a 4.6L V8 engine paired to twin electric motors and produced 886 bhp and 1280 Nm of torque. It does 0-100 kmph in a mere 2.6 seconds which makes it the fastest production car Porsche has ever made.

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