Not easy to remember only 5 models from a brand as legendary as Porsche!
Not easy to remember only 5 models in more than 70 years of Porsche history ! The brand quickly established itself as the benchmark for sportswomen , thanks in particular to very good results in motorsport. But today we are focusing on the most significant road models in the history of the manufacturer from Stuttgart . And even if the 911 has become over the generations the major icon of Porsche , it is not its only legendary model!
Porsche 356: 1948-1965
While engineer Ferdinand Porsche and the company he founded in 1931 worked on many projects before WWII (notably the Volkswagen Beetle), the Porsche 356 was the first road car to be produced under its own name. . It is a small sports car derived from the Porsche 64 , a racing car prototype based on the pre-war versions of the Beetle. Like the latter, the 356 houses a small four-cylinder flat in rear overhang . Small, light, aerodynamic, the Porsche 356 has made a habit of competing with much more powerful sports cars. Her class victory at Le Mans in 1951 made her become a legend.
Porsche 911 (Type 901): 1964 – 1989
When one thinks of Porsche, only one car comes to mind: the 911 . With its round headlights and rear engine , the 911 has established itself as the benchmark for sports cars, on the road and on tracks around the world. The very first generation, which was to be called 901 before a dispute with Peugeot, was presented to the public in 1963. It is clearly an evolution of the 356 : the engine is still at the rear, the general look takes on the features of the Contemporary 356. But the 911 is more opulent, more liveable. First, it’s a 2 + 2, with two booster seats in the back. Then, the 911 has a flat 6 cylinder of 2 liters, which develops 110 hp at launch. More comfortable , moreefficient , it is quickly adopted by a wider audience.
The 911 will then take to the competition : on the circuit at Le Mans and elsewhere, or even in rallies and at the Paris-Dakar , it stands out everywhere as a model of robustness and precision. Over the years, performance increases, and behavior is made more accessible. Even if the first generation evolved a lot, it was not officially replaced until 1989 with the 911 Type 964.
Porsche 911 Turbo (Type 930): 1975 – 1989
At a time when the 911 was especially appreciated for its contained weight and its agility , Porsche decided to throw a block in the pond by adding a turbo in 1974 to its legendary flat-six. The performances were astounding for the time, with 260 hp for just over 1,200 kg. In the 1970s, turbos were still very rare, especially on the road. Porsche is adapting here its technology developed for its racing 911s, in particular the devilish 935s which prevail in the general classification of the 24 Hours of Le Mans .
The 911 Turbo has earned over the years a sulphurous reputation, due to the sharp nature of its engine , and sometimes treacherous reactions that the burst of power can cause. But by rubbing shoulders with supercars like the Ferrari Testarossa, it secures a place in the pantheon of the most respected sports in history.
Porsche 959: 1986 – 1993
Like many legends of the 1980s, the Porsche 959 was initially a car designed for Group B homologation . And while the Porsche 959 retains the overall look of the 911, it’s actually a whole different model . With its twin-turbo engine with water cooling of the cylinder heads, its four-wheel drive, its adjustable ground clearance and its worked aero, the 959 is a real technological jewel. In short, the complete opposite of its rival at the time, the Ferrari F40.
When it came out, the Porsche 959 was the fastest car in the world: 317 km / h was reached thanks to the 450 hp of the flat-six derived from competition. 100 km / h is reached in just 3.7 seconds, a figure that is still impressive today. And if Group B was canceled before the 959 could participate, it was still able to shine in competition, especially at the Paris-Dakar and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Porsche Carrera GT: 2003 – 2007
Presented as a concept car at the 2000 Paris Motor Show , the Porsche Carrera GT created a sensation. This is a real supercar, as evidenced by the V10 in the center-rear position and the carbon hull. The V10 in question is derived straight from an engine designed for Le Mans , and dominates the character of the Carrera GT. The 612 hp is handled through a manual gearbox, unlike the Ferrari Enzo which faced it at that time. If her look is less spectacular than the latter, she was at the time celebrated as being more successful from a behavioral point of view.
Since then, it has quickly become cult, especially as many consider it the last purely analog supercar in the lineage of the McLaren F1. The Porsche 918 Spyder, which will take over in 2013, is an automatic transmission hybrid.