Porsche Germany: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG usually known as Porsche AG is a German automobile producer specialized in high-performance sports cars, SUVs and sedans. Porsche AG is owned by the Volkswagen AG. Porsche’s current lineup includes the 718Boxster/Cayman, 911, Panamera, Macan and Cayenne. In 1931, Ferdinand Porsche founded the company called “Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche GmbH”. The company offered motor vehicle development work and consulting but did not build any cars under its own name.
One of the first assignments the new company received was from the German government to design a car for the people, that is a “Volkswagen” in result the Volkswagen Beetle was introduced. It was one of the most successful car designs of all time. During World War II, Volkswagen production turned to the military version of the Volkswagen Beetle, was named as the Kübelwagen.
1931; 86 years ago
Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Porsche produced several designs for heavy tanks during the war, losing out to Henschel & Son in both contracts that ultimately led to the Tiger I and the Tiger II. Porsche also developed the Maus super-heavy tank in the closing stages of the war, producing two prototypes.
The first models of what was to become the 356 were built in a small sawmill in Gmünd, Austria. The prototype car was shown to German auto dealers, and when pre-orders reached a set threshold, production was begun by Porsche Konstruktionen GesmbH. Many regard the 356 as the first Porsche simply because it was the first model sold by the fledgling company.
After the production of 356 was taken over by the father’s Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche GmbH in 1950, Porsche commissioned a Zuffenhausen-based company, Reutter Karosserie, which had previously collaborated with the firm on Volkswagen Beetle prototypes, to produce the 356’s steel body. In 1952, Porsche constructed an assembly plant across the street from Reutter Karosserie; the main road in front of Werk 1, the oldest Porsche building, is now known as Porschestrasse. The 356 was road certified in 1948.
In 1964, after a fair amount of success in motor-racing with various models including the 550 Spyder, and with the 356 needing a major re-design, the company launched the Porsche 911: another air-cooled, rear-engined sports car, this time with a six-cylinder “boxer” engine. The design office gave sequential numbers to every project but the designated 901 nomenclature contravened Peugeot’s trademarks on all ‘x0x’ names, so it was adjusted to 911.
The 911 has become Porsche’s most well-known and iconic model – successful on the race-track, in rallies, and in terms of road car sales. Porsche 911 remains in production; however, after several generations of revision, current-model 911s share only the basic mechanical configuration of a rear-engined, six-cylinder coupé, and basic styling cues with the original car.
In 1972, the company’s legal form was changed from Kommanditgesellschaft (KG), or limited partnership, to Aktiengesellschaft (AG). This led to the establishment of an Executive Board with members from outside the Porsche family, and a Supervisory Board consisting largely of family members. F. A. Porsche founded his own design company, Porsche Design, which is renowned for exclusive sunglasses, watches, furniture, and many other luxury articles.
Louise’s son Ferdinand Piëch, who was responsible for mechanical development of Porsche’s production and racing cars formed his own engineering bureau, and developed a five-cylinder-inline diesel engine for Mercedes-Benz. A short time later he moved to Audi and pursued his career through the entire company.
In 1990, Porsche drew up a memorandum of understanding with Toyota to learn and benefit from Japanese lean manufacturing methods. However, in 2004, production of the 456 kilowatts Carrera GT commenced in Leipzig. It was the most expensive production model Porsche ever built.
Relationship with Volkswagen
Porsche has always had a close relationship with Volkswagen Group because the first Volkswagen Beetle was designed by Ferdinand Porsche. In 1969, the two companies collaborated to make the VW-Porsche 914 and 914-6, whereby the 914-6 had a Porsche engine, and the 914 had a Volkswagen engine. In 1976, the collaboration was resulted in the Porsche 912E (USA only) and the Porsche 924, which used many Audi components, and was built at Audi’s Neckarsulm factory. The Cayenne, introduced in 2002, shares its chassis with the Volkswagen Touareg and the Audi Q7. That is built at the Volkswagen Group factory in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
However, in the year 2010, Porsche launched the Cayenne S Hybrid and announced the Panamera S Hybrid. In 2014, the Porsche 918 hypercar was introduced, which also features a hybrid system. Also, in the United States, in October 2013, a plug-in hybrid model called the Panamera S E-Hybrid was released. So, in 2011, Porsche developed a prototype electric version of Porsche Boxster which was called as the Boxster E. Also, a hybrid version of the 911 called the GT3 R Hybrid, developed with Williams Grand Prix Engineering in 2010.
However, in July 2014 Porsche announced the launch by the end of 2014 of the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid a plug-in hybrid, which will displace the Cayenne S Hybrid from the line up. So, the S E-Hybrid will be the first plug-in hybrid in the premium SUV segment and will allow Porsche to become the first automaker with three production plug-in hybrid models.
Porsche’s company logo was based on the coat of arms of the Free People’s State of Württemberg of former Weimar Germany, which had Stuttgart as its capital. The arms of Stuttgart was placed in the middle as an inescutcheon, since the cars were made in Stuttgart. The heraldic symbols were combined with the texts “Porsche” and “Stuttgart”, which shows that it is not a coat of arms since heraldic achievements never spell out the name of the armiger nor the armigers home town in the shield.
So, Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern became part of the present land of Baden-Württemberg in 1952 after the political consolidation of West Germany in 1949, and the old design of the arms of Württemberg now only lives on in the Porsche logo.