The Original Porsche Crest as a Quality Seal

This unmistakable and sought-after icon has an unusual history concerning the original and the "fake". To remove all ambiguity, the experts at Porsche Classic delved deep into the history of the crest, which was first suggested as a quality seal for the 356 at a meeting between Ferry Porsche and US importer Max Hoffman back in 1952. In the same year, advertising manager Herrmann Lapper and designer Xaver Reimspieß produced a preliminary design that is still used to this day with just a few minor differences in detail. Reimspieß, who is also said to have designed the Volkswagen logo in 1936, sketched a magnificent crest that symbolised the roots of the company as well as the dynamism and quality of its products. At the centre of the golden plate, the horse of the official Stuttgart coat of arms is depicted along with the name of the city. The composition is surrounded by the red and black state colours and the stylised antlers from the crest of Württemberg-Hohenzollern. The all-encompassing Porsche logo acts as a protective “roof” over all the design elements.

In contrast to the current crest, the Porsche logo on the original crest was only embossed and was not black. In addition, the red elements of the crest were actually more orange in colour to reflect the Württemberg-Hohenzollern state colours. The Classic experts charged with reproducing the crest went a lot further than merely ensuring that the colours were true to the original. The crest is produced using special tools based on original drawings. As with the original, it is gold-plated and the colour and enamelling are meticulously applied by hand.

The traditional Porsche Crest has had to undergo extensive quality testing. This involved an alternating climate test at the Porsche Research and Development Centre in Weissach, for example, and a stone impact simulation carried out at a ballistic firing range. All of these challenging tests were passed with flying colours.

The Porsche Crest passed these challenging tests with flying colours, thus proving its credentials as a genuine quality product, 100 per cent "Made in Germany". This symbol, steeped in history, signals a continued long life for classic Porsche models.

Production of the Porsche Crests

1.  Painstaking manual tool production by an engraver

2.  Stamping the blanks

3.  Soldering the pins

4.  Polishing the crest

5.  Galvanizing (gold-plating)

6.  Applying the enamel coating to the crest

7.  Quality control

How Did Porsche Get Its Emblem?

Porsche Automobil Holding SE was started in 1931 by Czech engineer Ferdinand Porsche after he had been commissioned to design automobiles for other companies.  The company's headquarters have remained in Stuttgart, a city located in southwest Germany that was built on a stud farm (a term for a horse-breeding farm, so "stud garden" in German is Stutt Garten, or Stuttgart).  The city, founded in 950, has been the capital of the state of Baden-Wurttemberg.

Initially, there was no symbol on Porsche's cars, only the automaker's name - that's certain.  What isn't agreed upon is how the crest originated.

North Americans contend that in 1951, Ferdinand Porsche's son Ferry met with American Porsche distributor Max Hoffman at a New York restaurant.  Hoffman suggested the automaker needed a symbol or mascot, which Ferry sketched onto a napkin.  After bringing the design back to Germany, Ferry had it polished up and put on the company's cars.

However, Germans contend that the Porsche logo was designed by engineer Franz Xaver Reimspiess, who worked with Ferdinand at his request to make a lasting company emblem (previous to his death in 1951).  No American-suggested napkin drawing ever happened.

Either way, the first Porsche badge appeared in 1953 on the horn button and a couple years later on the front of a 356 Coupe.

What Does the Porsche Logo Represent?

The Porsche emblem, which has the appearance of a coat of arms and is popularly known for being copied by Ferruccio Lamborghini, is inspired by two designs.

The rearing black horse in the center is from Stuttgart's coat of arms, also called its city seal, which has included horses in its designs since the 14th century.  Not only was this a homage to where the company was based and returned to life after hiding in Gmund during WWII, Porsche sees the wild animal as an expression of the company's forward-thrusting power.  Porsche's horse is a bit more dynamic, with thinner legs, a raised head, and flowing hair. 

The antlers and the red/black stripes are taken from the state crest of Wurttemberg, where Stuttgart is located.  As for the colors:                                                                                                                                                    

  • The black was originally embossed rather than painted
  • The red was maroon/claret due to a short supply of ink and colored papers in post-war Germany
  • The yellow has an orange hue to reflect the Wurttemberg-Hohenzollern state colors

Apart from smoothing out some edges, not much has changed in 60 years.  The original crests can still be ordered through Porsche centers and are hand-made in Germany.


911 GT2 RS MR

911 GT2 RS MR is the fastest road-legal sports car on the 'Ring"

Porsche has set another new record on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in cooperation with Manthey-Racing. On Thursday, 25 October 2018, the Porsche GT2 RS MR completed a lap of the 20.6-kilometre long circuit in 6:40.3 minutes. 

No other road-legal vehicle has ever been so fast on ‘The Green Hell’ track. Lars Kern was at the wheel of the sports car, which had been especially set up for the ‘Nordschleife’ by Porsche engineers and Manthey-Racing experts. The Porsche test driver already set a lap record in September 2017 in a series-production Porsche 911 GT2 RS.

“We kept our eye on the weather all day and thought hard about whether such a drive was possible. We would not have taken any risks if it was raining or if the track was slightly damp,” says Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Motorsport and GT Cars. The Porsche 911 GT2 RS was equipped with the new performance kit from Manthey-Racing, supplemented by an overall vehicle setup tailored to the circuit characteristics of the Nürburgring-Norschleife. “In this test drive, we simply wanted to assess the potential of the vehicle once more. The result is quite impressive. It really is a fabulous time. This shows again very clearly the exciting possibilities of this sports car.”

The 911 GT2 RS was equipped with the new performance kit from Manthey-Racing

The Porsche GT2 RS was launched on the market in 2017 as the fastest and most powerful 911 of all time so far. In recent months, Porsche engineers used their know-how from development of the 911 RSR and 911 GT3 R race cars as well as the experience of Manthey-Racing gained in numerous successful races on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. The targeted modifications included the areas of chassis and aerodynamics. The technicians focused on suitability for on-road driving at all times.

“The drive was great fun,” says development engineer Lars Kern. The 31-year-old knows the ‘Ring’ very well from test and record drives as well as numerous VLN races. “The balance of the car is also very good with the new package. I did not have to take any great risks to be fast. But I only had one attempt because it was already getting dark. It worked out first time though.” Manthey-Racing CEO Nicolas Raeder adds: “We are very proud. It was a great challenge to make the already tremendously fast Porsche 911 GT2 RS even faster.”

Lars Kern (second from the right) exploited the huge potential of the Porsche 911 GT2 RS MR

In autumnal but dry conditions, Lars Kern optimally exploited the huge potential of the Porsche 911 GT2 RS MR on his record lap under the eyes of a notary. For the fuel, Porsche relied on Esso as a proven partner from motor sports. The driver's seat was the only modification compared with the version of the GT2 RS MR that can now be ordered from Manthey-Racing for club sport and track day events. A racing bucket seat was fitted in the record-breaking vehicle for safety reasons. This modification did not provide any weight benefits.

About the Porsche GT2 RS

The fastest and most powerful Porsche 911 made its world debut at Goodwood in the UK in June 2017. The 3.8-litre engine produces 515 kW (700 hp; Fuel consumption combined 11.8 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 269 g/km) and delivers a torque of 750 Nm. The top speed of the rear-wheel-drive sports car is 340 km/h. The two-seater weighs in at just 1,470 kilograms and accelerates from a standing start to 100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds. In September, Porsche presented the new Porsche 935, based on the ultra-modern technology of the 911 GT2 RS, at the Rennsport Reunion VI in Laguna Seca, California (USA). The exclusive vehicle, which is designed for track day use, will be delivered to customers next year in a limited production run of just 77 cars.


The company Manthey-Racing is based in Meuspath at the Nürburgring and is managed by the brothers Nicolas and Martin Raeder. Porsche AG owns a 51 percent share in the company. Manthey-Racing offers services, part packages and race events for customers. The racing team from the Eifel region is the sole record holder with six overall victories in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring race. Among other things, the team from Meuspath is responsible for the two 911 RSR entered in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). In this race series, Porsche achieved a class victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 2018. The Porsche GT Team also currently has a clear lead in the overall WEC classification.

Cleaning Up

Particulate matter doesn’t stand a chance: as of September 1 of this year, all new Porsche models with gasoline engines will be successively outfitted with particulate filters, with six- and eight-cylinder models receiving two filters, one for each cylinder block.

The gasoline particulate filter works according to the same principle as the filters in diesel vehicles. The exhaust gas flows from the engine to the tailpipe through one of many narrow channels connected either to the engine or to the exhaust side of the vehicle. The filters are there for good reason: tiny openings between any two such channels allow gas molecules, such as carbon dioxide, to escape unhindered, but not the much larger soot particles. They get stuck and burn off when the exhaust gas reaches a temperature of over 600 degrees Celsius. There’s no lack of oxygen for this burn-off process—when the driver lets up off the gas and the engine is in overrun mode.

Porsche engineer Martin Werner and his team worked on converting the gasoline engines for filter operation for roughly two years. Because larger exhaust systems don’t fit into the tight engine compartments of the 718 and 911 models, completely new main catalytic converters had to be designed. The previous three-way systems completely converted already gaseous substances such as nitrogen oxides into harmless air components. In four-way catalytic converters, by contrast, the channels in the filters have a catalytic coating. “That leaves no chance for nitrogen oxides and particulates,” says Werner. The filters are relatively short with large diameters to enable flow into as many channels as possible at the same time.

Result of the gas particulate filter:  The cleanest Porsche models of all time

The soot particles collected in the filter must be burned off from time to time. This is known as regeneration. But it must also work in low outdoor temperatures and on short journeys. In such cases, the engine control unit ensures that the filter heats up by increasing the exhaust gas temperature—for instance, through another combustion or a higher engine speed.

With long periods of frost and a lot of short drives, a somewhat longer drive can be necessary for regeneration. “But in real road traffic we can usually get by without these protective measures,” emphasizes Werner. His team put in several hundred thousand test kilometers to put the system through its paces. The result: the cleanest Porsche models of all time.

Text first published in the Porsche customer magazine Christophorus, No. 388

A Deeper Connection

How does deep machine learning work? How can it be put to use for future vehicle generations? And what does Porsche Engineering have to do with it? Read on to find out.

For decades, scientists have been fascinated by the topic of artificial intelligence.
Many systems created under this epithet have been artificial for a long time, but intelligence has not been a property they widely possessed. Over the last seven years, however, this has changed rapidly: With deep neural networks, developers now have a powerful tool at their disposal.

In July 1956, creation of the first artificial Man seemed imminent. A group of computer scientists and mathematicians at the renowned Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in the USA had sent out the call to join an ambitious research project— the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence. In their enthusiasm, the project’s founders believed to have speaking machines, networks modeled on the human mind, self-optimizing computers and even machine creativity at their very fingertips. But although a busy summer’s month produced little more than sheaves of writing and big ideas, the utopian scientists did coin the term artificial intelligence (or AI for short) and create an entirely new field of research that would from then on keep the whole world holding its breath.

Artificial intelligence:  tricky to pin down

A good sixty years later, one thing’s for sure: What is referred to as true, or general, artificial intelligence—that is, AI that comprehensively copies or even exceeds human intelligence—is a utopian dream even today. No technological system in the foreseeable future will be capable of passing the Turing test. ‘Weak’ AI systems, which are currently the primary object of research, are not even intended to pass the Turing test. Instead, these systems’ design pursues autonomous processing of problems within defined boundaries or responding to input questions. Weak AI algorithms are becoming better and better at overcoming concrete problems of application, for example the solution of complex logical or mathematical expressions. They can also act as opponents in a game of chess, checkers or Go. They excel at analyzing large volumes of text or data and form the core element in internet search engines. Embedded in myriad smartphone apps, artificial intelligence is already our constant we’re carrying AI around with us in our pockets. When we speak to “Alexa” or “Siri,” our words and phrases are analyzed by AI algorithms. As the founder of the Dartmouth Conference John McCarthy himself already drily remarked on the fate of AI applications: “As soon as it works, no-one calls it AI anymore.”

As interconnected as a brain

The first artificial neural networks were already devised in the early 1950s. These networks are the key to artificial intelligence’s success. In such a network, the separate computation operations are not rigid, binary computing that allows only two options: 1 or 0, on or off. Instead, they are modeled on biological nervous systems. Nervous systems operate based on threshold values and can accommodate a multitude of values between 1 and 0; a seemingly infinite number of nerve cells are dynamically interconnected by growing, mutable links. The human brain learns by constantly reassessing these links’ weighting. Pathways used frequently are reinforced, rarely used links allowed to wither. Of course, artificial neural networks run on conventional computers—ultimately, they too operate based on ones and zeros. But within this system, the complex algorithm’s operating principle and threshold logic reflect their biological counterparts.

Porsche trial vehicles incorporate high-end computers that are capable of handling the driving

Artificial, interlinked neurons are fed input values and pass the data on to neurons at a downstream level. At the chain’s end, a level of output neurons supplies a result value. The variable weighting of the separate connections lends the network a remarkable property: an ability to learn. Today, these networks possess more and more levels; they are more complex, more greatly nested—they are deeper. Deep neural networks in some cases comprise more than one hundred of these successive program levels. Being learning networks, they usually keep on taking corrective feedback into account until they are able to produce the ideal solution to a problem—for example in image recognition: During training, also referred to as ‘deep learning’, the system devours thousands upon thousands of photographs until it is capable of making statements about previously unseen images. It performs a feat of knowledge application: It sees a cat as a cat; it calls an apple an apple, even when the apple is semi-obscured by leaves; it recognizes traffic signs, deer, humans. Highly reliable recognition not only allows robot taxis to follow traffic rules but even now also helps surgeons identify tumors. Computer resonance imaging scans are more and more often compared with medical image databases in a fully automatic process. For a long time, deep neural networks were largely disregarded by AI research. The chaotic nature of their growth was unable to keep up with the speed of the classic deterministic algorithms. But in the noughties of the new millennium, computing power slowly became sufficient to exploit the full potential of deep networks. Geoffrey Hinton from the University of Toronto in Canada had long suffered mild ridicule for his self-teaching approach. In 2020, however, he won the ImageNet Challenge, a competition in which AI systems compete to correctly interpret hundreds of thousands of images.

Diverse applications

Deep neural networks shine in any field that needs to analyze complex patterns: They recognize, interpret and translate languages, analyze video sequences or predict stock price developments. They are the core element of voice assistants such as those used by Amazon or Apple. With an extensive, but targeted training, they can learn to play computer games or even beat human Grand Masters at the highly complex game of Go. When combined with other types of networks or with robotics, the capacities of deep networks can be vastly expanded: For a long time now, artificial soccer players have played each other in the annual RoboCup championship. They react entirely autonomously to their opponents, interact with teammates and occasionally even manage to score a goal. At this year’s RoboCup in Nagoya in Japan, the smartest robots were given the opportunity to compete autonomously in other disciplines, too: For example in the Logistics League or the @work industrial robot category, rescuing accident victims in disaster scenarios in the Rescue Robot League or as electronic butlers in the RoboCup@ home competition. The progress made in the field of artificial intelligence will drive radical changes in the mobility sector over the coming years, as the massive complexity of road traffic, particularly in urban population centers, will push classic algorithms to their limits when developing highly automated or even autonomous vehicles. Dr Christian Koelen, project leader at Porsche Engineering, explains: “Covering all imaginable parameter variations using classic algorithms would take a very long time and incur high expenses for programming and tests.” For object classification to reliably detect other traffic, such as pedestrians, Porsche Engineering has chosen to pursue the method of deep learning. “Deep neural networks today achieve very high success rates,” Koelen confirms.

Promising practical tests

But artificial intelligence is not only of use in recognizing your surroundings during automated driving. Assistance systems like Lane Keep Assist, for example, can also benefit from deep learning. Porsche Engineering’s Johann Haselberger has completed a feasibility study that proves it. The issue is no small matter. After all, assistance systems of this kind take control of the steering while driving. For the neural network to make the right decision within fractions of a second, it first needs to be trained. Professional drivers completed long test drives in the area around Stuttgart in a trial vehicle equipped with a high-performance computer and two new video sensors. While driving, the human driver’s steering motions were continuously correlated to the video recordings of the road ahead. Roughly half of the time, the car was driven on the motorway. The other half took place on country roads and under dynamic driving.

Assistance systems already benefit from deep learning today

After several weeks, the system was put to the test: The neural network was allowed to drive by itself. “Both the computer simulation and the real-life tests on the road provided pretty good initial results,” Haselberger says. But they also showed that the current development status still has a few shortcomings. The robustness of the neural-network-based controller depends on the volume of input training data, and control quality depends heavily on the training material used. Special circumstances that the controller has not yet “seen” in training–say road work with special markings—are in reality hardly manageable. Nonetheless, dangerous situations are precluded: The classic controller always remains active in the background. Were the neural networks to deliver nonsensical values, they would be instantly overruled. This kind of combination of machine learning and classic deterministic algorithm is referred to as a hybrid system. Many experts expect these hybrid systems to become commonplace in the automotive industry in the near future.

When this article was being written, road testing had not been fully completed. But Koelen holds to his conviction: “This technology has great potential for providing drivers with even better assistance. We can imagine using it in series production by early next year.” There remains a fair bit of work to do until then. In a standard-production car, drivers should still be able to decide whether they would prefer to corner in a sporty and dynamic or more conservative style. And the assistance system also needs to react correctly when drivers choose to change their driving style mid-corner. Haselberger is looking forward to the work ahead: “We’re combining a classic Porsche virtue—transverse dynamics—with artificial intelligence, which is a new core competence for us. It’s really exciting.” Who would argue with that?

Text first published in the Porsche Engineering Magazine, issue 01/2018

Wild at Heart

A natural paradise for Heck cattle, wild ponies, and deer is also where Porsche customers can navigate their Cayenne and Macan. This off-road terrain at Porsche’s Leipzig site is a remarkable natural habitat. For Bertram Schultze it’s simply his preserve.

It’s shortly after six in the morning, and the dark of the night is giving way to shooting light. That’s what hunters call the first traces of dawn by which they can spot the presence of game. For Bertram Schultze, it’s the moment to shoulder his firearm. The triple-barreled shotgun has a special story—but that’ll have to wait. Schultze’s hunting dog Kalle, a mixed-breed German wirehaired pointer and Labrador, leaps eagerly out of the car and dives straight into the bush, his nose never far from the dew-covered ground. Off on a hunt!

Bertram Schultze spent years hunting alone but now has a loyal companion

Schultze strides rapidly through the grass after the eager hound. The morning light slowly peels back the darkness from the contours of the land. Hawthorn bushes form prickly islands on an expanse of matte green. A chorus of birds rehearses the soundtrack for the emerging day. Two red kites circle overhead in the deep blue sky. This prompts Schultze to reminisce about the African savannah, before abruptly stopping and calling out, “Here, Kalle!” The dog breaks out of the undergrowth and comes straight to the hunter’s feet. Schultze peers through binoculars at two roebucks a few hundred meters away.

From military training ground to off-road obstacle course

This terrain, which looks like something out of Africa, lies on the outskirts of Leipzig, bordered by freeways and industrial parks. When the wind shifts, the rumble of engines can be heard faintly in the distance. On the horizon a UFO-shaped building, nicknamed the “Diamond” by Porsche employees, seems to stand on the point of a cone. This futuristic structure houses the customer center at the Porsche plant in Leipzig. More than six hundred Macans and Panameras are manufactured every day at this location in eastern Germany. The adjacent game preserve was a military training ground during the German Empire and was more recently used as a place where the National People’s Army of the German Democratic Republic prepared for armed conflict. Since 2002 Porsche has cared for the 132 hectares as an ecological compensation area for its production site. The land was restored and is now used to experience Porsche models under off-road conditions. It’s also home to Heck cattle, Exmoor ponies, and around three million bees—one way in which the sports-car maker seeks to preserve nature and the environment. One measurable result, for example, is the Turbienchen honey (a play on the German words for “turbine” and “little bee”) produced in the game park, more than four hundred kilograms of which were sold last year.

Schultze leans against a fence separating the pasture area from the driving grounds. Here’s where he has arranged to meet Carsten Helling, who’s responsible for the compensation area’s maintenance. Right in front of the two men, a group of Heck cattle with imposing horns is grazing. It includes a number of powerful bulls, each weighing more than a ton, as well as fleecy calves just a few weeks old. The herd started off with a dozen or so animals but now numbers around seventy-five. Suddenly, as if answering a silent summons, the cattle lift their heads and gallop off.

Multicultural cattle:  The aurochs have long been extinct

“The Heck cattle are important for the ecosystem, because they keep the undergrowth in check. The combination of open spaces, bushes, and trees is an ideal biotope for wild animals, birds, and insects,” says Helling. He has watched over the herd for years, monitored the animals’ health, and supplemented their food in harsh winters. He describes his work with evident pride, along with the fact that Exmoor ponies are regularly given to associations in the region to keep their number constant in the preserve.

Since 2006 Schultze has been commissioned by Porsche to cull the preserve’s roedeer, fox, hare, raccoon, and raccoon dogs in order to ensure an ecological balance between flora and fauna. He shoots a handful of deer every year. Hunting is a passion for him, not work. That awaits him in his office at the Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei, once one of Europe’s largest textile factories, which as CEO he has converted into a flourishing center for the arts. The architect and project developer runs similar facilities in Berlin, Hamburg, and Nuremberg.

Youngest hunter in the Republic

“Nature offers you time for yourself,” says Schultze. A pheasant squawks somewhere behind a bush, only to flutter off a moment later. “I could spend all my time observing nature. How the fox romp with the calves, how the bulls tease the ponies—those are extraordinary moments.”

Schultze has spent his entire life with animals, starting in Kenya where his father established a number of veterinary centers for zebu cattle. After returning to Germany, he was already sitting in a raised hide at the age of ten and received his hunting license at fifteen, which made him the youngest hunter in the Republic. His grandfather gave him a triple-barreled shotgun. “The barrels were handcrafted in Suhl, so it’ll still be shooting in a hundred years,” he remarks with pride. But it won’t see any action this time. The roebuck are safe from Schultze today, because the season has not yet begun. The sun has now risen high in the sky, and it’s time for the hunter to depart for his office. “What I’d really like to do is stalk the grounds until dusk.”

The wilds of Leipzig

With steep ascents, slippery slopes, and knee-deep waterways, these off-road grounds have a six-kilometer-long obstacle course with fifteen modules that can test the limits of performance for the Macan and Cayenne. Porsche customers may try out the course either alone or in teams as part of a factory pickup or a special program. Catered events can be organized as well.

Porsche Classic's "Project Gold"

Porsche Classic's "Project Gold" heads to new home for EUR 2.7 Million

After a total of 37 bids and ten minutes, the main prize for Porsche collectors was ready to go: This Saturday saw the “911 Turbo Classic Series” auctioned off at the Porsche Experience Centre Atlanta (USA) as part of the “RM Sotheby’s – The Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction 2018” event.

This car – based on an original 993 body shell – was sold for a total price of EUR 2.743.500. The one-off piece created by Porsche Classic is already considered a highly sought-after collectors’ item. The net proceeds of EUR 2.589.027 will go directly to the not-for-profit Ferry Porsche Foundation, which was set up this year to mark the brand’s anniversary, “70 years of Porsche sports cars”. Porsche Classic has also created two “Project Gold”-inspired genuine parts as a special treat for all 993 owners. Porsche customers can opt to upgrade their vehicles with a new aluminium tank cap (available for all 911 models from the years 1980 to 1998) and a black tail pipe.

A total of 51 vehicles went under the hammer during the auction. The Estimate for the unique 911 Turbo Classic Series was EUR 154.473 equivalent to the retail price for a 911 Turbo S from 1998. The story behind the “Project Gold” model is as unusual as the design itself: Painted in Golden Yellow Metallic, it references the 2018 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. The black wheels are highlighted by Golden Yellow design accents, while the seats and interior trim are finished in black with Golden Yellow details. The bodyshell features the characteristic side air intakes of the 993 type 911 Turbo S. The 331 kW (450 hp) Classic Series celebrated its world premiere at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion in Laguna Seca (USA) on September 27, 2018.

Painted in Golden Yellow Metallic, it references the 2018 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series

The net proceeds of EUR 2.589.027 will go directly to the not-for-profit Ferry Porsche Foundation. The foundation – named after the brand’s founder, Ferry Porsche – focuses primarily on the homes of its Stuttgart and Leipzig factories. It also supports projects at the brand’s international sites. The foundation supports work in the fields of education, research, sport, culture and social affairs. In the future, the foundation is also planning to focus more on its own range of projects.

To the Limit

The Porsche 919 Hybrid and the 917 dominated the races of their time. The final incarnation of each model was utterly dominant in its class before being retired. A meeting of these two ultimate driving machines—which, despite their age difference, have a lot in common.

Within a few hours, the Youtube video has hit over a million views: the on-board recording of Timo Bernhard’s record lap around the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife, or north loop, leaves professionals speechless. The two-time Le Mans winner and endurance world champion got around the legendary 20.8-kilometer course in the Evo version of the Porsche 919 Hybrid in 5:19.55 minutes. On June 29, 2018, he attained an average speed of 233.8 kmh in the “Green Hell” and a top speed of 369.4 kmh. The world of Formula One sent its congratulations. It’s already familiar with the Evo: back in April, Neel Jani drove it to a new premium-class record in Spa-Francorchamps. “The Beast,” as it’s known in England, is an advancement of the Le Mans prototype with which Porsche won the twenty-four-hour classic and the manufacturers’ and drivers’ world endurance championships three times from 2015 to 2017. At the end of the car’s career, the engineers were given the green light to free it from the shackles of regulations so that it could really show what it can do.

A genetic predisposition also played a role in the genesis of the Evo. Once before, in 1973, Porsche turned a victorious vehicle inside out: the 917 became the 917/30. Back then, the 917’s dominance was so stifling that motorsport authorities decided to intervene. Porsche had won the manufacturers’ title at the World Sportscar Championship in 1970 and 1971. The 917 had racked up fifteen endurance victories, including the brand’s first two overall victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, before its five-liter, twelve-cylinder engine was no longer permitted to compete in 1972.

Porsche presented the 917/30 in 1973

Porsche found a new field of activity. North America had long since become the brand’s largest individual market, and the Canadian-American Challenge Cup, or CanAm for short, became an attractive racing series. In order to be able to compete against the dominant McLarens and their 800 hp V8 engines from Chevrolet, the V12 aspiration engine of the 917 was not enough. Performance improvement by turbocharging was still largely uncharted territory—one that Porsche explored. Among the explorers was American Mark Donohue, a successful race-car driver and engineer. Thirty-four years old at the time, he was appointed developmental and factory driver. In 1972 the approximately 1,000 hp 917/10 TC Spyder (TC stands for turbocharged; Spyder refers to the now-open cockpit) won six CanAm races and the title.

As competitors got their vehicles ready for the 1973 motorsport season, Porsche presented its answer: the 917/30. Donohue’s improvements were quite invasive; they didn’t even leave the wheelbase untouched, lengthened from 2,310 to 2,500 millimeters. An elongated front and a significant protrusion of the rear wing were also added—aerodynamic measures with which Porsche had not yet had much experience. In Le Mans, air resistance had to be reduced as much as possible to increase the maximum speed. In North America, maximum downthrust was the order of the day. Somehow, the monumental power of the engine needed to be transferred to the road surface, as the V12 now provided the eight-hundred-kilogram Spyder with 1,100 hp.

Mark Donohue was the only driver to pilot the 917/30 as a factory racer

The response behavior of the turbo presented the engineers with an enormous task: the engine, which now had a capacity of 5.4 liters, released its power later, but with brute force. Porsche applied several detailed solutions in the aspiration system in an attempt to come to grips with the problem. Sitting in the Spartan cockpit, Donohue could now turn a boost controller to regulate the V12’s manifold pressure. When taking off, he could turn up the pressure and, once up to race speed, turn it down again. This spared the engine and saved gas. The V12 engine was a thirsty one, which was why the gas tank of the 917/30 could hold up to 440 liters.

Mark Donohue was the only driver to pilot this super sports car as a factory racer. In 1973 he won six out of eight races in the CanAm series and also took home the championship title. And then, history repeated itself. A change to the rules once again meant that the superior vehicle was excluded. Was everything over? Not at all. On August 9, 1975, the 917/30 gave one last brilliant performance: on the 4.28-kilometer Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, Donohue’s average speed of 355.86 kmh set a new world record that stood for eleven years. The V12 engine achieved 1,230 hp thanks to charge-air coolers, used here for the first time.

Timo Bernhard drove his way into the history books in the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo

The Porsche 919 Hybrid wasn’t expected to dominate the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring any more than Porsche had envisaged a record run on the steep oval when developing the 917. The parallels between the two icons stretch from their conception to their record runs: both were presented at the Geneva Motor Show, the only two occasions where Porsche placed a race car at the center of its brand profile. Both were the most innovative and dominant race cars of their time, and the creation of both took a considerable dose of courage. This applies to Ferdinand Piëch’s determination to build the twenty-five specimens needed for the homologation of the 917 in 1969—despite the financial risks—as well as to the 2014 decision of the Porsche Executive Board to return to Le Mans and the World Sportscar Championship with a very technologically advanced hybrid vehicle.

Unlike with the development of the 917/30, the Evo version of the 919 has the same hardware in the drivetrain as its predecessor. The V4 turbo, whose capacity is only 2.0 liters, continues to drive the rear axle—without, however, the fuel restriction to which it was previously subject. Thanks to this design and with a certain amount of software support, the combustion engine in the Evo attains 720 hp instead of 500. The two energy recuperation systems provide massive support by collecting brake energy on the front axle and—by means of an additional turbine—energy in the exhaust tract and storing it temporarily in a lithium-ion battery. Where the rules of the World Sportscar Championship previously limited the deployable quantity of energy from these systems, the technology in the Evo can now be used to its full potential. The e-motor on the front axle of the temporary all-wheeler now contributes 440 hp, 10 percent more than before.

The Evo generates 53 percent more downthrust than the 919 did

The impressive result is a system output of 1,160 hp at a vehicle weight that has been reduced from 888 (including the driver ballast) to 849 kilograms. A brake-by-wire system for all wheels is part of the vehicle equipment, as are chassis reinforcements and specially developed Michelin tires. This vehicle generates more aerodynamic downthrust than a Formula One race car. The larger front diffuser and the more powerful rear wing are also equipped with active aerodynamics. Similarly to Formula One, drag reduction systems are used to set the wing elements flat in order to reduce air resistance on long, straight stretches. The underbody, which has also been aerodynamically optimized, now bears lateral skirts that serve to increase the downward pressure toward the road surface, allowing even higher speeds on bends. Overall, the Evo generates 53 percent more downthrust than the 919 did at the World Championships. “As if on rails,” is how Timo Bernhard describes the feeling of driving it. Donohue could only have dreamed of a road position like that during his daring race in Talladega.

Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo

Combustion engine: Water-cooled V-turbo engine (90°)
Cylinders: 4
Displacement: 2,000 cc
System output: 1,160 hp
Weight: 849 kg
Number produced: 1
Year: 2018

Porsche 917/30 CanAm-Spyder

Engine: Air-cooled V-turbo engine (180°)
Cylinders: 12
Displacement: 5,374 cc
Power: 1,100 hp at 7,800 rpm
Weight: 800 kg
Number produced: 2
Year: 1973

Taipei Pal

Celebrating our 70th with family friends out East.

To mark 70 years of Porsche sportscars, Taiwan has just held its first official Porsche gathering. More than 8,500 visitors flocked to the Taipei Nangang C3 plaza, where 70 classic Porsche models had convened from all over the country to form the number ‘70’.

Cars on static display included icons of Porsche’s racing past such as the 550 Spyder and 911 Carrera RS. The event also heralded the official market launch of the 911 GT3 RS, resplendent in Lizard Green, and provided a wide variety of interactive activities designed to engage fans of all ages including a driving simulator and mini Porsche racing.

The official market launch of the 911 GT3 RS

“Formerly, the passion towards sports cars could be personal interest. Since seven decades have past, Porsche has not only grew deep in culture, but also accumulated numerous fans around the globe as well as in Taiwan making it possible for us to share such boiling passion of sports cars with the public” said Mr. Mathias Busse, CEO of Porsche Taiwan, “Not to mention with the portfolio line-up of Cayenne and Macan, such passion is therefore able to spread to the family of Porsche owners. We are honoured to celebrate this significant milestone of all owners and fans in Taiwan and, to further address the savouring moment of 70th anniversary of Porsche.”

Materials of the Future

It's better to implement ideas than to simply dream of them.  And that's exactly how the developers of Porsche proceed:  The seemingly impossible becomes tangible technology.

At first glance, innovation may not be apparent.  Philipp Kellner has placed a pressed sheet steel component on the table.  It will later be affixed to the vehicle's sill, accommodate the door hinges, and enclose the front windshield on its vertical side, as explained by the Porsche expert from the Structure Predevelopment department in Weissach.  This component is the A-pillar, the first important vertical element of a vehicle body as seen from the front end.  Together with the B- and C-pillars, it comprises the passenger compartment and is thus a critical safety component.  The A-pillar provides the survival space for passengers in a vehicle rollover, especially for open vehicles such as convertibles and roadsters.  The thin-sheet steel profile contains a second profile made of high-strength steel that's thickest at its center and tapers at the ends.  This unassuming piece of metal represents engineering acumen of the highest order.

3-D Hybrid A-pillar:
An insert of high-strength steel, clad in molded thermoplastic glass-fiber fabric panels and encased in plastic reinforced with short glass fiber, replaces the traditional steel pipe.  This enables the A-pillar to withstand rollovers just as well - at a significantly lower weight.  With the optimized brace structure made of plastic ribs, it doesn't buckle but instead yields elastically and springs back.  Before the year is out, research into this new technology will wrap up, removing the final hurdles to its being used in the Porsche lightweight body of the future.

The invisible backbone

Black plastic with rhomboid struts encases the high-strength metal and braces it from the inside.  "What you don't see here," Kellner elaborates, "are the two additional layers of thermoplastic glass-fiber plastic panels between the liquid injected, short glass fiber-reinforced plastic and the metal.  We call them organic sheet composites."  Taken together, the result is the 3-D Hybrid A-pillar, a novel type of hybrid design invented by Porsche.  The advantage:  like the high-strength steel A-pillars of today's convertibles, it doesn't buckle in the event of a rollover and performs just as well while weighing over five kilograms less.  "The lightweight body of the future combines different lightweight materials such as high-strength steel, aluminum, magnesium and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer.  New hybrid designs will play a role as well," says Mathias Froschle, director of the Structure Predevelopment department.  Occupant safety is the paramount concern at Porsche.  The 3-D hybrid construction concept contributes to safety - and is lighter and barely more expensive than all other solutions to date.

The basis of this research can be seen by any driver of the 918 Spyder and the current Panamera simply by looking at the brake pedal.  The naked eye will spot black fibers.  Carbon fiber, one might think.  But Edgar Grundke from Pedal and Actuator Development at Porsche knows better.  "Those are thermoformed glass-fiber panels on a glass fiber-reinforced frame."  So, precisely the same stuff that promises to offer great strength in future A-pillars.  "The material is homogeneous, lighter than metal, and permanently stable," explains Grundke.  "Until now, no one has dared use it in series production.  We're the first manufacturer worldwide to do it this way."  In the future, the new brake pedal will be used in other models.  There's unmistakable pride in his voice as he says it - Porsche courage that has paid off.  That's confirmed by Hendrik Sebastian as well, who works in the Innovation and Predevelopment Management department in Weissach.  The department not only functions as a point of connection for threads from the predevelopment departments but also develops new ideas for the future, evaluates and initiates research, and observes trends.  The questions addressed by this department are something like a glimpse into a crystal ball.  What will the customer want in five, ten even fifteen years?  What technologies will exist then?  It's not all abstract thinking and imagination that are called for here, but also perseverance along the way to final implementation.  Porsche developers follow a clearly defined maxim:  "Excellent driving performance in all driving situations.  After all," says Sebastian, elucidating one of the department's goals, "with our sports cars, we're always operating at the threshold of what's technically possible.  New material and production concepts are indispensable here.  They're the only way for us to ensure that we can generate long-term added value for our customers."

Brake pedal:
What may soon be found in the A-pillars can already be seen in the footwells of the current Panamera and 918 Spyder - the brake pedal is constructed of precisely the same thermoplastic composite.

In questions concerning the selection of material and possible production methods, the development experts are supported by their colleagues in the Material Technology department under the leadership of Stephan Schmitt.  Unconventional thought is a prerequisite in that process.  For example, most smartphones utilize Gorilla Glass, a high-strength, thin glass with perfect optical properties.  "For the first time in the 918 Spyder with the Weissach package, we used a small window of a similar material:  a laminated glass pane made up of two thin glass sheets with a film between them."  Markus Schulzki from the Structure Predevelopment department holds a glass pane that's roughly twenty centimeters square:  the rear window between the roll bars behind the seats of the sportiest 918.  It's surprisingly light.  If one taps it, it sounds like plastic.  "That's what everyone thinks," says Schulzki.  "But it's glass.  This here was a practice run.  Today we're far beyond that stage."  In the current Porsche 911 GT2 RS and 911 Carrera T, the rear windshield and side windows are completely made of thin-sheet glass, which, thanks to the initiative of Porsche, is now available in curved panes.  Until recently, that wasn't technically feasible.  The glass is less than two millimeters thick, yet roughly 40 percent lighter and more than twice as resistant to rock impacts.  Then there's the nearly 100 percent protection against UV rays, much improved thermal protection, and better noise protection.  "High frequencies generated by the headwind are filtered out.  Low frequencies aren't.  The spectacular sound - for instance, that of a flat-six engine - is perceived that much more clearly," says Schulzki, unabashedly conceding his preference for classic engines.

Finest stainless steel powder:
Complex shapes were once a matter for the foundry.  But now so-called additive manufacturing methods are revolutionizing thinking:  a laser melts powder into practically any shape, layer by layer.

Glass revolution in the interior

With the smartphone, the communication technology of the automotive industry has delivered a material that can also be used as a carrier of information in the vehicle.  In addition to exterior components, Mathias Froschle and team also develop interior solutions.  His vision:  "A center console whose sweeping surface is entirely made of thin-sheet glass.  Thanks to the film, you can create displays and control elements as precisely as the driver and passenger need them.  Gesture control is used to activate the menu, and confirmation that a command has been executed is received via haptic feedback through contacts in the glass."

Hendrik Sebastian and his colleagues can imagine other uses as well:  "Completely new forms, discs and displays with augmented reality display features.  The passengers see an old castle through the window, tap the glass surface, a side camera captures the castle, compares the image with information from the Internet, and delivers it in real time on the window next to the actual castle."  The film between the glass layers functions as a sreen - this is no figment of the imagination, but the current state of research.  Graduated darkening of the windows depending on the intensity of sunlight or passenger preferences is also possible.

Rotor shaft:
With traditional production methods, the core of an electric motor would consist of multiple parts.  Laser melting enables fine ribbing in the interior with minimal material usage.  A rotor made in this manner is significantly lighter.

Porsches made of plants

Porsche is also looking into interior elements made of renewable materials.  "There are already door panels made of plant fibers, but they haven't, to date, fulfilled the requirements we have as a premium manufacturer," says Froschle.  But Porsche will soon have components that are undeniably up to snuff.  "Even in 2048, you won't find a model made entirely of algae or plant fibers, but the topics of sustainability and recycling will become significantly more salient," Sebastian asserts.  "In addition to innovative materials, it's important to tap other new production methods, such as additive manufacturing."

Additive manufacturing is the method popularly known as 3-D printing and the specialty of Falk Heilfort and Frank Ickinger from the Powertrain Predevelopment department, who present a cylindrical component for consideration.  It's the rotor shaft of an electric motor, and is responsible for transferring the electromagnetically generated torque to the gearing - the crankshaft of an electric motor, so to speak.  "This rotor shaft consists of a special stainless steel," explains Heilfort.  Next to the shaft there's a tiny glass pipe with a gray, fine powder:  the microscopically fine-grained base material of the solid component.  In a clean room, this powder is spread in a thin layer on a surface and then melted with a laser to form a firm bond, after which the next layer of powder is applied and once again melted with the laser.  Layer by layer.  Thus emerges a roughly fifty-centimeter-long rotor shaft out of the powder.  The advantage over a conventionally milled and turned component:  much less material is used, the excess powder can immediately be put to use, and it enables more complex forms.  The rotor shaft thus has fine ribbing on the interior, which lends greater strength.

911 GT2 RS side window:
Curved in all dimensions, the high-strength side window of the Porsche GT2 RS - seen here in a prototype stage - not only improves the power-to-weight ratio but also filters out wind noise.  All while being 40 percent lighter.

It wouldn't be possible to produce such shapes on a lathe.  It would be necessary to first cast the shaft and then weld it to get the same result.  "This component is much stronger, much lighter, more rigid and delivers much better power transmission," says Ickinger, rattling off the benefits.  The disadvantages so far:  "It still takes about thirteen hours to print such a rotor."  Series production is therefore not yet planned; and yet, this technology will one day revolutionize powertrains.  Hendrik Sebastian adds, "Additive manufacturing is revolutionizing the way in which we develop components.  we can optimize and test much more rapidly and also significantly enhance performance.  It's an outstanding product and process innovation whose potential is far from exhausted.  Many challenges are yet to be mastered, but we wouldn't be Porsche if we didn't do exactly that."  One such product and process innovation is exquisitely curved cooling ducts in the middle of a part.  Heilford is also certain that "what we're researching here will soon lead to even more compact engines with improved performance."

The idea of high-strength, thin-sheet glass originated in the design of displays for cell phones and laptops.  Porsche is the first carmaker to make extensive use of this composite glass made of sand, recycled glass and safety film.  More and more new models will be equipped with thin-sheet glass, which is stronger and lighter, offers better UV protection, and could provide display functionality in the future as well.

While there will not yet be a renewable Porsche, nor a 3-D printed sports car, in 2048, a Porsche will be made of many homogeneous materials perfectly adapted to their respective purposes.  Steel and aluminum will be increasingly augmented and improved by materials that enable advancements in every dimension.  This will require vision, ambitious research, and the courage to try new things.  Qualities, in other words, that are already abundant in Weissach today.

Hockenheimring Porsche Experience Centre

Foundation stone laid for Hockenheimring Porsche Experience Centre

A fitting location for the authentic Porsche experience: The world’s seventh Porsche Experience Centre is currently being built directly within the confines of the Grand Prix track at Germany’s Hockenheimring.

The foundation stone was laid on Monday, with the centre scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2019. The new Hockenheimring Porsche Experience Centre will cover a total area of 160,000 square metres.

“Porsche is inextricably linked to sports cars. Our new Hockenheimring Experience Centre will demonstrate this bond perfectly,” states Alexander Pollich, CEO at Porsche Deutschland GmbH. “Located just 100 or so kilometres from the brand’s headquarters in the Zuffenhausen area of Stuttgart, the centre will give customers and fans the chance to feel the thrill of driving our sports cars on challenging on-road and off-road tracks,” he adds.

The Porsche Experience Centre will cover a total area of 160,000 square metres

The first Porsche Experience Centre opened on the factory grounds in Leipzig back in 2002. It was followed by Silverstone (UK, 2008), Atlanta (USA, 2015), Le Mans (France, 2015), and Los Angeles (USA, 2016). A new centre in Shanghai (China) was added in April 2018. The project at Hockenheimring will include multiple tracks and areas for a wide range of training programmes. A demanding 2.7-kilometre handling track will give drivers the chance to get to grips with vehicle dynamics. The track will be complemented by dynamic modules, such as water zones, a skid simulator and three roundabouts. A 5,200-square-metre off-road park containing 16 separate modules will comprise features typical of tricky off-road terrain, inclines of up to 70 percent, slopes, boulders, ditches, and tree trunks lying at different angles.

The three-storey central building will feature boxes in which new vehicles are handed over to customers, a restaurant, a café, conference rooms and venues for events.