ALL SEVEN PORSCHE SUPERCARS brought and bring racing technology to road users, and were not only successful in achieving the best times — they also featured trendsetting designs and new technologies that always put them years ahead of their time. These very special Porsche supercars all have one thing in common: The vast array of new ideas and concepts that were used to drive forward key innovations in other Porsche model lines — and often even for the automotive industry as a whole.
Four-cylinder flat engine with four overhead camshafts; engine power of 110 hp (81 kW); top speed of 220 km/h (137 mph); weight empty of 550 kg (1,213 lbs.); price: DEM 24,600 (US $14,320). The first Porsche supercar to be specially developed for racing, the 550 Spyder shone in 1954 with a class win and an overall ranking of third in the Carrera Panamericana, despite facing competition that featured a much greater displacement capacity.
904 Carrera GTS
Four, six or eight-cylinder flat engine; engine power of up to 240 hp (177 kW); top speed of up to 263 km/h (163 mph); price from DEM 29,700 (US $17,300). The 904, designed by Ferdinand Alexander (Butzi) Porsche, features a small frontal area and was the first Porsche model to have a plastic body.
The Carrera GTS won the Targa Florio only five months after it was released, and was also able to prove its worth at both the Monte Carlo Rally and Le Mans. It is still regarded today as one of the most elegant race cars to have been made.
Six-cylinder flat engine with turbocharging; engine power of 260 hp (191 kW); top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph); price: DEM 65,800 (US $38,300). The 911 Turbo was the first Porsche series production vehicle to feature a turbocharger. Its key strengths were based on proven technology used in racing and included the brakes and aerodynamics in particular.
Six-cylinder, twin-turbocharged flat engine; engine power of 450 hp (330 kW); electronically controlled all-wheel drive; active chassis; top speed of 315 km/h (196 mph); price: DEM 420,000 (US $245,000).
The 959 combines high-tech features with a passion for competition like no other Porsche model. Designed for the new Group B in racing, the vehicle was constructed as a technological benchmark based on the 911 model line; only 292 units of this Porsche supercar were produced in this exclusive series.
Six-cylinder flat engine with turbocharging; engine power of 544 hp (400 kW); top speed of 310 km/h (193 mph); carbon-fiber Kevlar body; price: DEM 1.5 million (US $83,300,000).
When the 911 GT1 racing car was granted approval to compete in international motorsport, a small-series comprising at least 20 vehicles was required for road use — a quota that Porsche met. Even the road cars, which feature a front that is synonymous with the 996 model range, were built by the racing department in Weissach.
Ten-cylinder V-engine; engine power of 612 hp (450 kW); top speed of 330 km/h (205 mph); carbon-fiber monocoque; ceramic brakes and clutch; price: EUR 452,400 (US $491,300).
Originally developed so that Porsche could take part in Le Mans, the ultra-flat mid-engine sports car was manufactured in Leipzig in an exclusive series of 1,270 units. On September 21, 2004, the Carrera GT conquered the Nordschleife at the Nürburgring in 7:33 minutes, setting a new lap record for road cars in the process.
The maximum level of performance delivered by the vehicle, namely through its system output of 887 hp and minimal consumption figure of three liters per 100 kilometers (Combined fuel consumption: 3,1 – 3,0 l/100 km; CO2 emissions: 72-70 g/km; Electricity consumption 12.7 kWh/100 km), is the result of a unique plug-in hybrid concept.
To meet the driver’s requirements, the 918 Spyder exhausts all possibilities offered by the combined drive of combustion engine and electric motor. As the first vehicle to boast global road homologation, the model beat the record of seven minutes set for a lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife, achieving a time of 6:57 minutes.
Source: Kind courtesy of Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Porsche Aktiengesellschaft
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