Porsche's 100 years of grace.
November 14, 2001 marked the beginning of the Cayenne pre-launch marketing programme which celebrates the substantial fourwheel drive history Porsche has built up over the last 100 years.
The first vehicle of this type was a Lohner Porsche racing car, which Ferdinand Porsche personally delivered to his customer E W Hart in Luton. There are no records of how many races Hart won with this vehicle, but in 1901 Ferdinand Porsche himself won the Exelberg Rally driving a similar vehicle.
The Porsche invention - the wheel hub motor - was even employed by NASA when its moon car explored the surface of the moon.
Today, international car manufactures are using this technology for the development of future emission-free vehicles.
Commercial vehicles also benefited from Porsche's allwheel-drive technology. In 1912 he developed an eightton tractor.
It was also in 1912 that Ferdinand Porsche began the development of the Landwehr Train. It was a train that could run on the road as well as on track.
Not all-wheel-drive, but four-wheel-drive distinguished the Mercedes world record beating T 80, constructed by Ferdinand Porsche in 1937. Then in 1947, the Porsche team developed a racing car with, amongst other developments, featured a centrallylocated engine called the Cisitalia.
The engineers went back to the understructure and motor of the Porsche 356 in their development of the Jagdwagen type 597 in 1955, which was also fitted with an on-off front-wheel-drive and was rated one of the best cross-country cars ever built up to that time.
In the following years Porsche worked on allwheel-drive projects for several external clients.
The first Porsche 911 with all-wheel-drive was the Cabriolet prototype exhibited at the IAA in Frankfurt in September 1981.
Two years later it was the sensational Porsche 959 with its electronically controlled all-wheel-drive and complex understructure technology that stole the show.
Then in 1985, the 959 won the Pharaoh Rally in Egypt, and in 1986 the extremely difficult Paris-Dakar Rally.
The all-wheel-drive 911 had already won the Dakar Rally in 1984, which previously had only been open to crosscountry cars and motorcycles.
The experiences gained with the 959 ultimately led to the most successful allwheel-drive sport cars ever built by Porsche - the 911 Carrera 4 - the first version of which was introduced in the autumn of 1988.
The present-day all-wheeldrive technology is represented by the Porsche 911 Turbo.
So far, the engineers in the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach are keeping the details of the all-wheel-drive capabilities of their latest creation, the Cayenne, a secret.
All will be revealed in the second half of 2002, when the Cayenne is launched.
RACE WINNER The Lohner-Porsche (1901). ROAD TRAIN Porsche Home Guard Train (1912). RECORD BREAKER Porsche T80 type (1937). CENTRALLY-LOCATED ENGINE Cisitalia (1947). POPULAR Porsche 911 Turbo 3.3 Cabriolet (1981). ONTHE ROAD Porsche 959 (Street version, 1986). RALLY Porsche 959 (Paris-Dakar, 1986). LATEST VERSION Porsche 911 Turbo (2000/01).
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|Publication:||South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||Dec 28, 2001|
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