On October 12, 1984, Niki Lauda became World Champion driver for the third time, with team-mate Frenchman Alain Prost becoming runner-up. Both were driving McLaren Grand Prix cars, which were awarded the Formula 1 Constructor’sChampionship for the year —just one of the many major achievements of Porsche of Stuttgart in the last 30 years. Specifications had broadly been set for the power plant by both the McLaren team and the French consultants of TAG, but the essential V6 design and construction were Porsche.
Significantly, Ferdinand Porsche had always been competition-conscious. In earlier days, he had designed and developed the power plant for the famous pre-war Auto Union Grand Prix racer. He introduced torsion bar suspension and an ‘unbeatable’ synchromesh gearbox which, was pure joy to use. There is virtually no field of serious motor sport which has not, at some time, been dominated by Porsche, from Le Mans to Daytona, Targa Florio to Grand Prix racing.
The company has played so many tunes with their race-bred models, by switching around engines and chassis, that it is impossible to list the profusion of identi-numbers other than as an index. Porsche’s practice has been to introduce a more powerful new engine and make it available in a well-tried chassis. Then, when further engine development puts the power up, they design and introduce a new chassis.
The most famous racing Porsche must be the 917. Ferry (son of Ferdinand) Porsche gave the green light for this creation in June 1968 when the World Manufacturer’s Championship was open to prototypes up to 3 liters, or sports racers up to 5 liters. The 917 was on show in Geneva only eight months later. By May 1969, the required minimum of 25 new models had been built and sold, and ten days later the 917 raced at Spa in Belgium. The model helped to take three world titles, winning 15 events, including two at Le Mans, and the Daytona 24-Hours. Under 5 liters, with a horizontally opposed, air-cooled unit of 12 cylinders with four overhead camshafts, the car had a maximum power output of 620 bhp!
For the public at large the consistent favourite was the 911. Unveiled in 1963 as a 2 liter producing 130 bhp, by 1978 it could extract 300 bhp from a 3.3 liter turbo power unit – a truly astonishing climb. Both on road and the track, the engine continued growing—from 2 to 2.4 to 2.7 to 3 to 3.3 liter. Most popular in the late 1970s was the 911 SC, with its flat-6 air-cooled 3 liter giving a punchy 180 bhp.
In addition to the years of success with the 911, a major eye-catcher in the Fall of 1984 was a 911 Group B design study, This is a potential contender for the coming world championships in racing and rallying, with four-wheel drive and a daunting 400 bhp.
It surprises some experienced drivers that such high performance sports and sports-racing cars have been, and still are, offered with automatic gears. But the Sportomatic transmission, like so many Porsche features, is unusual in that the car can be driven almost like an automatic but the gears can also be changed at will, as with a normal manual box.
In the present Porsche range, which includes the timeless 911- in different versions, including turbo, interest centers on the 924, 944 and the V8-engined 928S Series 2 automatic. The 924 is a sports car built to a (relatively) low-cost budget, while the 928 is built with perfection rather than cost in mind. The 924 sprang from an original commission by Volkswagen and became a Porsche as we know it when the latter took over the NSU plant near Stuttgart. But, not all the VW links could be broken. The 2 liter engine is basically a VW-improved version of the Audi 100, Porsche brought the power up to 125 bhp – good enough for a low-drag body and low fuel consumption. Almost full circle, the first Porsche engines were put in the early 356s of the fifties Volkswagen-based units.
PORSCHE ALL CAR MODELS:-
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