Porsche, which made its name as a maker of sports cars, has always produced cars that can be used both on and off the race tracks. The company was set up by Ferdinand Porsche in the year 1931, the man who also produced the first Volkswagen car. Today, Porsche is produced in Leipzig and Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen in Germany. The latter also serves as the headquarters of the company.
The Porsche64 was the first car made by the company but it entered into production only with the Porsche356 made in 1948. The sleek styling of their first car is attributed to their designer Erwin Komenda. The Porsche 356 used the same gearbox, suspension and engine as the VW Beetle. However the revised versions of these cars have been produced using Porsche manufactured parts only.
The Porsche 550 Spyder was a successful car on the racing track. The engine for the car was developed by Fuhrmann, who replaced the central shaft that was commonly used in the VW produced cars by a 4 OHC camshaft. The year 1963 saw the production of the most well known Porsche sports car, the Porsche 911. It was built with a 6 cylinder boxer engine which was placed in the rear and was air-cooled.
In the year 1969, the VW group and the Porsche collaborated to make the VW-Porsche 914 and Porsche 924. The two companies also made the Porsche 912E that was sold in the US. The Porsche Cayenne, a beautiful luxury car, shares the chassis with the VW and was made in Leipzig.
The sports cars manufactured by the company have been used for small circuit racing and have been successful. Porsche also sponsors the Carrera cup and the Super cup series. It had also participated in the F1 racing but wasnt that successful. The Porsche 917, Carrera Panamericana and the Targa Florio were some of the most famous sports cars produced under the banner of Porsche.
The strength of the company lies in the production of cars that are equally safe and enjoyable to drive on a normal road and a racing track. They have been produced using the best auto-engineering techniques, and have low maintenance needs. Among other things, the company has pioneered the turbo charging technology and has made use of this technology for most of its cars.
The companys main rival and competitor is Ferrari. The other rivals include coupes from Jaguar, BMW, Lamborghini, Maserati, Aston Martin and to some extent Mercedes-Benz.
Another strength of Porsche has been the companys financial stability. It has always spent money within its means, and is today rated as the most profitable car company. Besides manufacturing cars, Porsche also offers consultancy to other car manufacturers. Some of the car manufacturers that have availed Porsche consultancy are: Studebaker, SEAT, Daewoo, Subaru and Yugo.
Today, the Porsche produces a range of cars from the entry-level Boxster to the supercar Carrera GT. The Porsche Carrera GT, whose production began in 2004, is rated as the most expensive car that Porsche has ever built.