Porsche Through The Years
Porsche was founded in Stuttgart, Germany by Ferdinand Porsche in 1931. At the time, Porsche himself was an experienced automotive engineer who previously worked for Daimler building sports cars like the Mercedes SS and SSK. Many early model Porsches were essentially compact two-seater sports cars that were based on Volkswagen framework. While Porsche is known as a German brand, most early models produced by the brand were manufactured in Austria before the company relocated to Zuffenhausen in the northern suburbs of Stuttgart.
Ferdinand Porsche had famously been awarded a contract by Hitler to design a "people's car," which wound up being the Volkswagen (VW) Beetle. So it is not surprising that even from the early years, most sports cars produced by Porsche had a rear-engine like the VW Beetle.
In the postwar period, Porsche introduced two of its most iconic models in the 356 Speedster and the 550 Spyder. These cars helped Porsche cement its reputation on the European racing circuit. The Spyder was one of the first Porsches to have a mid-engine, while the 356 was discontinued to make way for the 911 in the mid-1960s. The 911 was a very fast, lightweight coupe that notched two consecutive wins at Monte Carlo.
Porsche introduced the more affordable 914 in the 1970s. The decade also saw the introduction of the 911 Turbo, the 924, and even the 928, which was a front-engine, two-plus-two grand touring coupe.
Porsche Brand Expansion
Porsche established itself as a high-end luxury sport brand in the U.S. back in the 1960s. The brand has steadily grown in popularity in America over the decades. Affordable models like the 914 in the 1970s and the Boxster in the 1990s have helped Porsche expand its U.S. presence. Meanwhile, the company's increasingly diverse selection of vehicles has helped Porsche to catch on with a wider array of drivers in recent years.
Although it was only produced for two years, the Porsche Carrera GT was a highly regarded two-door roadster available between 2004 and 2006.
The Porsche 944 is another discontinued model. Produced between 1982 and 1991, it was highly successful as either a convertible or a coupe.
The 928 is another discontinued model from Porsche. Produced between 1977 and 1995, the 928 was originally intended as a replacement for the iconic 911. However, the 911 endured, and the 928 found its own identity before being phased out in 1995.
The Boxster is a roadster with a mid-engine that was one of the most affordable Porsches ever produced when it released in 1996. In fact, it was greeted as an instant classic and remains one of the bestselling cars in the luxury roadster class.
The mid-engine, rear-wheel drive Porsche Cayman is a relatively new model that dates back to 2005. The Cayman was essentially issued in response to those clamoring for a hardtop version of the popular Boxster.
Originally released back in 1963, the 911 is one of the world's true classic sports cars. It proves to be the very epitome of the rear-engine sport coupes, for which Porsche is famous. The 911 also offers stunning performance and is well-suited for everyday use.
The Panamera is a four-door luxury sedan released in 2009. While some have criticized the Panamera for being too great of a departure from Porsche's traditional offering of two-seater sport coupes, many others appreciate the Panamera for the unparalleled combination of luxury and performance it provides. The Panamera is also available as a hybrid.
Released in 2003, the Cayenne represented Porsche's entry into the SUV market. As a midsize luxury SUV, the Cayenne offers more performance than the average SUV. However, it is also somewhat less practical than other SUVs with limited seating space and cargo room.
When it comes to high-performance European sports cars, Porsche remains top notch. Porsches are renowned over the world for their style, unparalleled cornering ability and efficient, powerful engines. Drivers have also come to appreciate the luxury aspects of driving a Porsche. While the expense of owning and operating a Porsche is costly for many people, there is no substitute in terms of luxury and performance. Over the years, more affordable models like the Boxster and the 914 have made it increasingly possible for a more economically diverse range of drivers to own Porsches.