Porsche, the German sports and performance car company, next Friday celebrates 70 years since the first car to bear its name was built.
Quite an achievement for a firm which is now accelerating hard to create a new generation of super-fast electric sports cars and SUVs. And Britain is one of its biggest and most profitable markets.
I visited its factory and museum in Stuttgart, South West Germany, to find out about its past, present and electric future.
Electric power: Porsche’s Mission E 600 has a top speed of 155mph
Back in 1948, Porsche’s postwar 356 Nr1 marked the startof the family dynasty behind it.
In fact, the Porsche family effectively owns the Volkswagen group, of which the Porsche car company is a part.
The original 356 was the brainchild of Ferry Porsche, son of Ferdinand Porsche who created the original Volkswagen Beetle for the Third Reich.
Eight years later, in 1956, the 10,000th 356 had been built. Its successor, the 911, arrived in 1963, and despite many refinements and improvements, remains with us today.
But Porsche’s history has had its sad moments too.
James Dean died at just 24 after crashing his 550 Spyder in 1955. The brand was not affected; Dean was immortalised as a Hollywood icon.
The Mission E 600 has blistering acceleration from rest to 62 mph in less than 3.5 seconds, and a range of more than 300 miles. It will charge up in 15 minutes.
Fast forward, and today the world is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Porsche’s all-electric Mission E 600 hp sports car with a top speed of 155mph, blistering acceleration from rest to 62 mph in less than 3.5 seconds, and a range of more than 300 miles. It will charge up in 15 minutes.
At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Porsche also showed off its Mission E Cross Turismo prototype activity sports car.
Next year, it is entering a works team in the Formula E electric car racing championships.
Hybrid electric technology is already being used in vehicles including the Cayenne E-Hybrid. And it plans a network of 400 powerful rapid charging stations by 2020.
Porsche announced record sales of 246,375 new vehicles in 2017; 14,05 in the UK, its fourth largest market after China, the U.S. and Germany.
Next year, Porsche is entering a works team in the Formula E electric car racing championships
Members of the Porsche Club Great Britain own and maintain a restored 356. Its successor, the 911, arrived in 1963 and despite many refinements and improvements, remains recognisably still with us today. It was originally numbered 901, but French-car-maker Peugeot threatened to sue, so Porsche switched to 911.
Rock band Maroon 5’s frontman Adam Levine ,who has owned a 1958 356A Speedster for ten years, this month drove the Mission E prototype c at the Porsche Experience Centre in Los Angeles.
If out on a motorway next week, watch out for L-plates.
As part of driving test reforms, from Monday, learners will be able to take lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales, but must, by law, be accompanied by an approved driving instructor in a dual- control car.
For Skoda fans who have everything,here’s the ultimate— a bulletproof
and blast-proof armoured Superb Estate.
Safety first: The new bulletproof Superb estate was developed over three years by a British team at Skoda UK
Developed over three years by a British team at Skoda UK, and based on the standard 2.0 TDI 190PS estate, Skoda says: ‘It’s virtually indistinguishable from the standard car, yet offers bullet and blast protection by bullet-resistant glass, high strengthsteel and composite materials.’
It’s not cheap at £118,688, but it does have a three-year warranty.
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