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Third-party Porsche developments: From the Harley engine to the Opel Zafira

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Third-party Porsche developments
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D his Porsche business area, which is now part of the Porsche Engineering Group is operated in the development center in Weissach, goes back to the oldest predecessor company of today's Porsche AG. On April 25, 1931, Ferdinand Porsche had a design office in Stuttgart called “Dr. Ing.h.c. F. Porsche Limited Liability Company, Construction and Consulting for Engine and Vehicle Construction 'and have it entered in the commercial register.

Porsche: 30 years of development experience

But Ferdinand Porsche was already able to convince with his developments in the 30 years before the design office was founded. Whether Lohner Porsche Mixte as the forerunner of all modern hybrid models, all-wheel drive and the four-wheel brake - Porsche was innovative. As Technical Director at Daimler, Ferdinand Porsche later developed the first Mercedes-Benz with an eight-cylinder engine and the supercharged sports and racing cars with the abbreviations “S” (Sport), “SS” (Super Sport) and “SSK” “(Super Sport Short). In January 1929 he left Daimler-Benz AG. After a short interlude at the Austrian Steyr works, he returned to Stuttgart at the end of 1930 and founded his own design office at Kronenstrasse 24.

The Auto Union racing car and the VW Beetle are created

In its first year, Porsche developed a six-cylinder mid-range sedan and a new in-line eight-cylinder engine for the car manufacturer Wanderer. This was followed by a swing axle for the Horch-Werke Zwickau and an air-cooled five-cylinder radial engine designed for the Zittau Phenomenon Works and intended for driving trucks. In addition, Porsche developed a small car for Zündapp and applied for a patent for the torsion bar suspension in 1931.

In spring 1933, Ferdinand Porsche received an order from Auto Union to produce a 16-cylinder engine based on the rules of the new 750 kg racing formula -Develop racing cars. With drivers like Bernd Rosemeyer, Hans Stuck and Tazio Nuvolari, the Auto Union racing car, which was continuously developed between 1934 and 1939, became one of the most successful racing vehicles of the pre-war era.

In addition, Porsche developed a small car for NSU with a rear-mounted car , air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engines andTorsion bar suspension - the Type 32. In 1934, Porsche applied to build a “German Volkswagen”.

In addition to the development of technical engine components for the Mercedes Silver Arrows, the high-speed record-breaking car called Type 80 was designed for Daimler-Benz AG between 1937 and 1939. The small agricultural tractor type 110 with air-cooled two-cylinder engine developed on behalf of the German Labor Front (DAF) became the basis of the later Volkstraktor and the Porsche diesel tractor produced after the Second World War.

After the outbreak of the Second World War Other vehicle types were created based on the Volkswagen that were intended for military use. Porsche also developed various armored vehicles.

In July 1947, construction work on the Type 356 “VW sports car” began on its own. On June 8, 1948, the prototype of the Porsche 356 with the chassis number 356-001 was ready to drive. This was the hour of birth of the Porsche sports car brand. Production of the rear-wheel drive coupé and cabriolet versions of the 356 started in the second half of 1948. After returning to Stuttgart in 1950, series production of this sports car began.

VW is Porsche's most important development customer

Despite this successful start as a vehicle manufacturer, there were no orders Customer development continues to be an integral part of the company's scope of services. The most important client until the 1970s was Volkswagen AG, with which an extensive cooperation agreement had existed since 1948. Numerous detailed improvements were made for the VW Beetle, which was produced in Wolfsburg for a license fee of DM 5 per vehicle paid to Porsche. The VW Porsche 914 followed in 1969 and the follow-up project in 1976 was the development order EA 425, which VW rejected, and which then went into series production as the Porsche 924.

The development spectrum encompassed almost all areas of motorization in the civil and military sectors. Extensive orders from the German Federal Armed Forces were carried out as well as future automotive studies from the Federal Ministry for Research and Technology. Numerous other automobile manufacturers were also supported with development services. They supported Opel in the development of the Zafira, built a modern V2 engine for Harley-Davidson, designed the design for Linde forklifts, designed a small car for the Chinese market, developed a four-cylinder for Seat, and taught the Lada Samara to run , manufactured a successful Formula 1 engine, launched the RS2 for Audi and manufactured the 500 E. For Mercedes, testing the storm resistance of tents and refining the Airbus cockpit design are also on the list of the Porsche development department. Porsche is also developing the cabin design for mobile cranes and trucks itselfElectrically powered water sports equipment is not shy of Porsche.

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