Associated albums

Porsche 911 50 Years

“‘ We are the sports car manufacturer, and these are sports cars they are talking about. So we need a sports car like that. What do you think? Should we do that instead of Le Mans? Doesn’t it make more sense than to go once again to Le Mans?’” — Herbert Ampferer At Geneva, Porsche debuted its most complex 911 race car yet, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid. In addition to the four-liter 480-horsepower gasoline-fueled flat six internal combustion engine at the rear, the car also incorporated an electric motor producing 60 kW in each front wheel. Instead of passing this electricity onto heavy storage batteries, the Porsche system spun a flywheel generator up to 40,000 rpm, storing electric energy as kinetic rotation energy. Applying the brakes charged the system. Full acceleration reversed the process and fed the equivalent of roughly 250 horsepower to the front tires. The GT3 R Hybrid had its racing debut at the 24-hour race at Nurburgring, where it led overall for more than eight hours and competed for 22 hours 15 minutes until, ironically, its gas engine failed. Engineers confirmed that the car required one fewer pit stop to cover the same distances than its closest competitors. This gave it significant time advantages. Throughout the 2009 and 2010 seasons, the more traditional GT3 RSR model won GT2 class in both the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and the European Le Mans Series (LMS). In 2009, the RSR also won the FIA GT championship in GT2 class, and in 2010, the car claimed the GT2 class victory at the 24 Hour of Le Mans. For the 2011 season, the RSR delivered 455 horsepower at 7,800 rpm and weighed 2,684 pounds.
With the advantage of self-generated electric energyon board, the GT3 R Hybrid needed a pit stop every ten laps while everyone else went in after eight or nine times round the 15.7-mile combined circuit. During the 24 hours, the Hybrid held the lead for eight of them, until something failed in the gas engine and their race ended. Porsche Archiv
With the advantage of self-generated electric energyon board, the GT3 R Hybrid needed a pit stop every ten laps while everyone else went in after eight or nine times round the 15.7-mile combined circuit. During the 24 hours, the Hybrid held the lead for eight of them, until something failed in the gas engine and their race ended. Porsche Archiv Porsche revealed that since 1998 it had delivered nearly 2,400 of its 911 GT3 Cup cars. Through 2011 and 2012, Cup cars competed in 19 Porsche-brand series throughout the world as well as GT and other long-distance races. Since 2005, Porsche had manufactured Cup cars on the same Zuffenhausen assembly line as series production automobiles. The Motorsports Center in Flacht near Weissach completed general setup and tested the cars on the circuit. The GT3 R complied with and raced in championships adhering to GT3 regulations while Flacht assembled the 460-horsepower RSR cars for contests following GT2 rules, including ALMS, LMS, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the FIA World Endurance Championship. These first-generation 991 Cup cars developed 460 horsepower at 7,500 rpm from the 3.8-liter flat six. With new cars from Ferrari and Corvette, the 50th Anniversay season promised intense competition.
The 2009 GT3 Cup car tested extensively at Weissach before heading out among customers and competitors. It was the first 911 race car to use the new DFI direct fuel injection system. Porsche Archiv
The 2009 GT3 Cup car tested extensively at Weissach before heading out among customers and competitors. It was the first 911 race car to use the new DFI direct fuel injection system. Porsche Archiv
At the end of February 2013, Porsche unveiled its GT3 RSR, meant for Le Mans and other classics of endurance. The World Endurance Championship series began at Silverstone in mid-April where the car first met its competitors. Porsche Presse
At the end of February 2013, Porsche unveiled its GT3 RSR, meant for Le Mans and other classics of endurance. The World Endurance Championship series began at Silverstone in mid-April where the car first met its competitors. Porsche Presse

EPILOGUE: ASPIRING TO THE DREAM

“The phenomenon of the 911?” Harm Lagaay asked rhetorically. “Not only is it a sports car in its own right, in its own way, but it is a segment in the automotive world that is extremely attractive. You build a car for that amount of money, you make it unique, you keep it unique, and that’s why people drive it. They compare themselves with it, because it’s a successful thing.” For all of its 50 years and for most of a decade before it, the Porsche 911 has reflected the strong personalities who influenced this automobile. This started with the efforts of three men. First came Ferry Porsche, with his adamant insistence that his new automobile was a 2+2 sports car. Second was his son F.A. Porsche, who directed and managed the highly talented team that developed the shape and forms that now are part of our automotive language. Third was Ferry’s nephew Ferdinand Piëch, whose concept for the engine made it roadworthy and race-ready from the start. With those decision makers and the preferences they fought for, the 911 began its life. Hundreds of others played significant roles: Ernst Fuhrmann was the car’s reluctant champion even as he planned its funeral. Under Fuhrmann’s direction, Bott, Singer, Berger, and Brodbeck tamed the car’s handling, Then Mezger and Schäffer turbocharged it and made it Ruler of The Race Tracks even as Fuhrmann still hoped to guide the car into oblivion. Then came Peter Schutz, the car’s advocate. He saved the 911. His arrival allowed Bott to be the car’s enthusiastic innovator. Together they removed its roof. Then, full of faith in the 911s ability to do anything, they put four-wheel-drive under it and took it to the desert where Kussmaul and Ickx and Metge proved the bosses were right. Later, as water-cooling became essential and inevitable, Horst Marchart devised an idea that perplexed his engineering staff and bedeviled his stylists. This was the concept of two cars with one face. This plan created two new Porsches with flawless pedigree and masses of shared parts and calculable economies. Working with Wendelin Wiedeking, the production manager who became CEO, those two championed the 996 and its similarly-faced 986 Boxster. They and those cars saved the company; sales proceeds and favorable exchange rates replaced accountant’s red pencils with black. While Marchart advanced on the next water-cooled 911, Wiedeking advanced on Volkswagen. Soon after Marchart retired and Wiedeking was told to go, it was Volkswagen executives who looked on proudly as Porsche debuted its newest 911 technological tour de force. The 50-year evolution from 901 to 991 was incremental. The differences sometimes were clearest in the details which, aggregated, have established the 911’s identity. Aspiring to association with those traits and characteristics has been a potent motivator for engineers, designers, and customers alike. As Peter Schutz and subsequent Porsche officers discovered, for the company to prosper, that aspiration must thrive. Schutz expressed it as a kind of mission statement during an interview in 2004: “Porsche,” he said, “is in the business of selling memberships in the dream.”
Previous Page Page 32 of 32