Porsche: The Stuttgart Stallion Stands the Test of Time
From the time the first automobiles were invented, humans started developing them for high speeds and racing. A sports car is constructed with an accent on dynamic performance, particularly handling, acceleration, peak speed, driving thrills, and racing capabilities.
Thinking about sportscars, Porsche is an undeniable staple the market has been relying on since its launch. Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, the founder of Porsche AG — an Austrian-born engineer — resides in one of the top spots in the automotive industry hall of fame.
Starting with designing products to increase profits, Porsche soon moved to make the finest sports cars and vehicles for die-hard power fanatics. Having sold over 300,000 vehicles globally - in 2021 alone - Porsche undoubtedly creates the model of the modern-day driver. Out of the 90 different vehicles Porsche offers, the Cayenne makes the most popular choice among drivers.
What began as an idea born mid-war landed Porsche among the most profitable moguls in the industry. Here’s the full story of Ferdinand Porsche and his legacy.
Ferdinand Porsche - Creator of the ‘People’s Car’
Although they didn't sell the first Porsche motorcar until 1949, the company had become highly famous throughout the 20th century. Ferdinand started by designing electric cars in Austria and became the personal chauffeur of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. Ferdinand also worked on manufacturing tanks in WWII Germany.
Still, his most famous exploit in the 1930s was to design the world-famous Volkswagen Beetle. At the time, to design the car for Volkswagen that would be known as the 'People's car,' Ferdinand had to acquire a contract from Hitler himself. During the war, VW spent some time building military vehicles, but then the Allied air forces flattened the factory. And, in 1945, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche himself was locked up in jail for being a close and personal friend of Adolf Hitler and collaborating with the Nazi regime.
His son, Ferry Porsche, compiled a new crew thereafter and returned to the family estate in Austria, where he was set to design just about anything that would pay the bills.
The First Porsche Badge
By the end of 1948, the Porsche team had enough time to settle down and develop the sportscar they'd always planned to. At the time, Porsche was a small corporation with few resources and wanted to make a motorcar with its very own Porsche badge on it. The model they would design, however, had to be based on the Beetle design. The result of their effort became known as project Porsche 356, where the name of the original, rear-engine Porsche came from.
In many ways, the 356 was a very advanced car for its time. Most sports vehicles still had front engines doing the back wheel work and were vulnerable to bad weather. But because Porsche’s motor was located behind the back wheels, traction was excellent. The body style of the Porsche 356 was probably the most ingenious at the time.
The 356 never went anywhere near a wind tunnel, but it was a very wind-cheating body with an ideal shape. Although not cheap to buy, the vehicle represented a very efficient car with a reliable high-geared engine for its power. Not to mention, its speed was unseen for the era. Slowly but surely, by the end of the 1950s, the 356 had shed practically the entirety of its old Beetle history.
And part by part, more new Porsche pieces made their way onto the market.
The Birth of the 911
Porsche spent a significant amount of time researching a new-generation automobile. The result was a motorcar, which evolved in the early 1960s. It started a new series of cars, much bigger and much more powerful. And so, the new epoch of Porsches began, mainly marked by the creation of the 911.
When the Porsche 911 was first introduced to the public in 1963, most onlookers stated they could understand where the ancestry had originated from. Whilst the 911's stylistic cues, form, low snout, long fastback, and even sounds were there, the new vehicle technologically came far more advanced than the 356.
Unfortunately, that meant that the model was going to be expensive as well. But the Porsche team knew that the crowds were thrilled to give the vehicle a try and that high cost or not, there would always be a long line at the dealerships.
A New Concept
Porsche initiated a design revolution in the early 1970s. The Porsche 911, by their standards, became unfashionable, and behind closed doors in Stuttgart, a new generation of Porsche started to take shape. Porsche was contracted by Volkswagen to create a new sports vehicle. Unfortunately, VW discontinued its car at an early stage, and Porsche picked it up and introduced the Porsche 924 in 1976.
This was distinct from the 911 and was produced at a separate plant. The engine was Audi-derived, and the car also came with water cooling, among other specs. Interestingly, this would be the beginning of a new wave of Porsche sports coupes.
The Excellent 80s
During the 1980s, the car 'boom' arrived in Europe and North America. As a consequence of a new 911 planning process, a new generation of 911s appeared at the end of the 1980s. The engineers studied everything connected to the motorcar: new engines, new suspension, and even styling claims.
There was also a new generation of an open vehicle called the Boxter, which would use developments of the famous flat-six engine. By now, Porsche has already established itself as one of the top global sports car developers.
The Modern Era
Besides their iconic coupes, Porsche started manufacturing SUVs as well. The Porsche Cayenne was issued in 2003 and received many favorable comments. Soon after, Porsche started producing a 4-door sports sedan and a family sports car - the Porsche Panamera.
Porsche is a subsidiary of the Volkswagen group. In February 2022, Volkswagen AG said it would investigate the viability of a Porsche AG initial public offering. Porsche AG's share capital has been split into 50% non-voting preference shares and 50% ordinary shares. Volkswagen AG would move on to keep 75% of the ordinary shares, whereas Porsche SE would obtain 25% of the ordinary shares.
As an aspect of the initial offering, 113,875 shares were sold at the top of the price range - 82.5 euros. As a result, the company's worth was assessed to be 75 billion euros. The share price raised to 84 euros at the beginning of trading on the Frankfurt stock market on September 29.
Porsche’s IPO valuation stood at $5 Billion. Its IPO share price came to $1,000, registered under the ticker BIT:PSH. They have invested in several companies, including Justhome, HIF Global, ZYNC, Cresta, and the Rimac Group.
Today, the company is oriented on manufacturing electric vehicles. The new Taycan seamlessly blends Porsche DNA with cutting-edge all-electric innovation, bringing superior, consistent performance and advanced technology. They already have installed one of the fastest e-vehicle charging stations in the world.
Like many other high-performance sports cars, Porsche is not a status symbol. It is a car that requires a fiery, adventurous soul. There's the moment you know you want a Porsche, and then there's the moment you first own one. And, for the indeed afflicted, a decade or two passes in between.
Porsche ignites the passion in drivers only a few other cars may do. It is the purest expression of who Ferdinand Porsche was - a person, innovator, and industry revolutionist.