The Untold Story of the Porsche Carrera Name

Do you know where it all started?

356 Carrera

The word Carrera, meaning race in Spanish has been a staple in Porsche naming sequence since the 50s. But does anyone know why? Where did this name originate from? Here is the untold story of the legendary Porsche Carrera name…

_Carrera_Panamericana-1954-11-23

This story of ours takes place in the 1950s, a simpler time when the Porsche 911 was still an idea stirring around in Ferdinand Alexander Porsche’s head, James Dean was taking on the world, and the Cold War was getting under way. Meanwhile, in Mexico, a rather quiet place at the time, there was a race being hosted: The “Carrera Panamericana.” The Carrera Panamericana wasn’t your ordinary race however, as the name suggests, the Carrera Panamericana was a cross-country ordeal. Racing from one end of Mexico to the other, the race consisted of 9 stages, and 5 days of constant racing the best part  on closed public roads. Running for 5 consecutive years (1950-1954) the Carrera Panamericana was widely considered to be the most dangerous race in the world, which is exactly why Porsche got involved.

The first time Porsche got involved with the Carrera Panamericana was in 1952, when two private entrants raced their Porsches in the event. For 1953 however, Porsche racing boss, Huschke von Hanstein aka “The Racing Baron,” was ready to officially take on the event. Von Hanstein commissioned  Porsche 550 Spyders to race in the event but due to ongoing compilations only two private Porsches finished the event. But the Racing Baron returned in 1954, now with heavily modified, and purpose-built 550 Spyders for the event. The battle was a long an tough, but in the end, the two 550s flew past the finish line at a class winning average speed for the 1,908 mile race of 97.63 mph. The two Porsches, piloted by legends Jaroslav Juhan and Hans Herrmann finished 1st and 2nd in their class and 3rd and 4th overall. It was this victory that inspired the Carrera name.

carrera pan

Starting in 1955, Porsche began to name all its race ready models like the 356, 904, 906, 911 and 924 after the Carrera Panamericana. Porsche eventually adopted the name for the base model 911s, making the Carrera name a staple in Porsche’s history.

As always, come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to like and share this article with your friends and follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

 

 

 

Remembering the Forgotten Front-Engined Porsches

Do you remember these once iconic cars?

fep

Yesterday, I was just driving through town when something caught my eye. It was a beautifully kept Porsche 914. For those of you that don’t know, the 914 was basically the Porsche Boxster before the Boxster existed. Produced from 1969-1976, the 914 was a light, mid engined roadster (like the Boxster), powered by small flat four and flat six engines. It’s safe to say that the 914 is a forgotten title, a page ripped out of the history books, but it got me thinking, what about all the front engined cars Porsche made, does anyone still remember them?

The Porsche 924

924

The car that started it all was the Porsche 924, not a very impressive car, but important none the less. Produced from 1976-1988, the 924 was designed to replace the 914 as Porsche’s “entry-level” model. Despite having Porsche badging, and very questionable Porsche styling, the 924 originally came powered by a Volkswagen built 2.0 Liter 4 cylinder engine and an Audi transmission. The 924 was also Porsche’s first car to have a true automatic transmission. The 924 received numerous upgrades throughout its life cycle, and undoubtedly lived up to what a Porsche should be.

The Porsche 944

944

Unlike the 924, which was part Volkswagen, the Porsche 944 was a 100% purebred Porsche. The 944 too, had a 4 cylinder engine, although a much more powerful one-143 hp vs 95 hp in the 924. Most importantly though, this was an engine built and developed by Porsche alone. The 944 was built from 1982-1991 and quickly became one of Porsche’s most successful sports cars. The 944 was a light, fun car to drive around mountain roads and was sure to put a smile on your face every time you sat in it. This was especially true for my dad, since he owned a red one in the 1980s. In terms of styling, the 944 was a HUGE step above the 924, being one of the most beautiful cars I have ever seen, so much so that I almost bought one as my first car.

The Porsche 968

968

Of all the front engined Porsche’s, the 968 is definitely the most forgotten. Ask most Porsche enthusiasts, and they probably never knew it even existed, I know I didn’t. This is mostly due to the fact that 968 wasn’t produced for very long, only from 1992-1995. As a matter of fact, the 968 was originally built as a new 944 model. It was originally going to be called the Porsche 944 S3, a last hurrah for the 944 model. But with Porsche being Porsche, they added so many new components, they ended up replacing 80% of the 944’s components, creating a new car on accident. The 968 was powered by an even more powerful version of the 3.0 Liter 4 cylinder engine found in the 944 S2 and was at the time, the 3rd largest 4 cylinder engine in a production car.

The Porsche 928

928

Last but certainly not least, we have the Porsche 928, Porsche’s grand tourer. The 928 laughed at the 924, 944, and 968’s measly 4 cylinder engines with its big, powerful V8 powerplant, making 345 hp in its most powerful configuration. The 928 was built to represent the pinnacle of Porsche’s engineering capabilities, and it went on to win the European Car of the Year Award. Aside from being a technological marvel, the 928 was built with one purpose in mind: to replace the almighty 911. At the time of the 928’s reveal in 1977, the 911 was already 14 years old and was almost the same car as when it was unveiled back in 1963. In Porsche’s eyes, the 911 was over. With safety concerns arising from its rear engined setup, it was time to move on. The 928 fought valiantly, for 18 years until it was discontinued in 1995, but the 911 was loved too much to be let go, and Porsche listened. However, the 928 might not be dead yet, rumor has it that Porsche might build a coupe version of the Panamera-i.e. a new 928. The fate of the 928 remains to be seen. Thanks for reading!

As always, come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to like and share this article with your friends and follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

The Porsche 992: A Step in the Right Direction

The future is bright…

992 cover newIt’s finally here, the new Porsche 911 is here! The next chapter of Germany’s favorite sports car is here. With almost a complete redesign (for a  911), the new 992 Porsche 911 is an evolutionary step in the right direction, the future is bright.

Starting off with almost complete design overhaul, the new 992 shares only 20% with the previous 991 generation. Everything from the gearbox, engine, software, body panels, and even the direction of the turbos have changed-and for the better.

992 Rear

Engine and Transmission:

Like the previous 991 generation, the new 992 911 is powered by a 3.0 liter twin turbocharged flat six engine. This new 3.0 liter engine has new turbos, intercoolers, intake valves, engine mounts, and new fuel injectors; bumping up power from 420 horsepower to 443 horsepower and torque from 368 lb/ft to 390 lb/ft.

The PDK dual clutch transmission has also gained another gear (now being an 8-speed instead of a 7 speed) along with a rather odd quirk. Rumor has it that if you open up the new PDK transmission you will find a hole in the middle of it. This is where the electric motor is going to be placed in the upcoming hybrid models I mentioned in my article, “Is a Hybrid 911 all that Bad?” These changes obviously make the new car a lot faster than the old one. 0-60 is now 3.3 seconds on the Carrera S, up from 3.7 seconds in the previous generation. Top speed remains the same at 191 mph.

992 Side

Exterior:

Aside from the obvious evolutionary design changes, the new 992 is also 45 mm wider than the 991. With new flared front and rear arches, the 992 looks a lot more aggressive than its predecessor. Also the Carrera S and 4S share the same body-previously, the Carrera 4 and 4S had a wider body than their rear wheel drive counterparts. The one downside of this is that weight is now up 122 pounds: 3,382 lb on the Carrera S and 3,487 lb on the Carrera 4S.

992 spoiler

There is also a new, wider rear spoiler with two settings now instead of one, along with active cooling flaps in the front like on the 918 Spyder. The front is now more squared off and pays homage to the old, air-cooled 911s of the past with its sloping hood-line.

992 Front

 

Interior:

As stated by Carfection’s Henry Catchpole, “The interior is now more horizontal than vertical.” There are now more screens than ever, with a brand new 10.9 inch display screen. The famous 5 gauge design of old 911s is no more, replaced by an analogue rev counter, and 4 digital gauges. The new PDK shifter is now a little stub, making it so you can only shift with paddles. The electric power steering is now 10% sharper too, creating a better driving experience. Overall, the new interior is a great transition onto the digital age.

992 interior

Conclusions:

As I said before, the new 992 911 is a step in the right direction. I love that Porsche is keeping the manual transmission and making everything sharper and faster. The engine hasn’t gotten any smaller and the GT3 will likely keep it’s naturally aspirated engine. Basically, it’s a great time to be a Porsche fan.

As always, come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to like and share this article with your friends and follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

992 final

 

Porsche Carrera GT: The Peak of the Supercar

What made the Carrera GT so special?

Red Carrera GT

Back in 1992 Porsche had an idea. They decided to build a V10 engine for their upcoming Formula 1 car. Sadly though, this F1 project was cancelled and this engine was assigned to a shelf in some warehouse in the middle of nowhere. After collecting dust for a few years, this engine was brought out to be used in an upcoming LMP1 racecar project…which was also cancelled. But this time, the engine wasn’t shelved because someone-and God bless him-had the crazy idea of putting this engine in a road car, the Carrera GT. And what a car it was.

In my previous article-check it out if you haven’t already-I talked about the upcoming hybrid Porsche 911 and the future. Today we are looking at the past, we are walking into the supercar hall of fame, and looking at what is in my eyes, the greatest supercar ever made.

Carrera GT Back

What made the Carrera GT great was that it was truly the last supercar that put the driver in control. It didn’t have a fancy dual clutch transmission, all wheel drive, 9 stage traction control, or even stability control for that matter. It had an F1 sounding naturally aspirated engine with 612 horsepower, 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, a top speed of 205 mph, a 6 speed manual transmission, and not much else. How the car drove and handled was completely dependent on the driver. To quote Jeremy Clarkson, ” [In the Carrera GT], you make a mistake, AGOOT, it bites your head off, it’s that simple…”

This is not to say however that the Carrera GT was simple and under engineered. This was the production car to have a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, which is now a staple in every exotic car. The Carerra GT was one of the few times someone tried to reinvent and improve the manual transmission as it was the first road car to have a carbon ceramic clutch. Everything from the engine to the underbody, was designed to save weight and go fast, which is exactly what this car did. It’s no wonder this car won “Best Dream Car 2004” by Road and Track Magazine and “Best dream Machine” by Motorweek. This is why, 50 years from now, when we are sitting in our electric car that’s driving itself, going God knows where, we will look back at the Carrera GT and think, “Damn, now those were the good old days.”

Do you agree, was the Carrera GT the peak of the supercar? If not, let me know what YOU think was the best supercar ever made and suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Also, don’t forget to share this page and follow Rennsport Report on WordPress to get notified of every new post. Follow us on Instagram @rsreportblog. New posts will be added every Sunday for the foreseeable future. Thank You for reading!

Carrera GT Black

Is a Hybrid 911 all That Bad?

Let’s be honest with ourselves, we know it’s coming and it’s coming sooner rather than later. Around 2023 probably, when the new 992 911 gets it’s mid-cycle refresh or even sooner as Porsche might surprise us at the LA Auto Show this year.

GT3 R Hybrid

Let’s be honest with ourselves, we know it’s coming and it’s coming sooner rather than later. Around 2023 probably, when the new 992 911 gets it’s mid-cycle refresh or even sooner as Porsche might surprise us at the LA Auto Show this year. But is a hybrid 911 really all that bad?

I think Porsche can take this two ways: they can either keep downsizing and hybridizing until we are left with a rear engined Prius, or they can use this hybridization to keep their beloved naturally aspirated engine alive. I don’t know about you, but I’d take the latter over the former any day. Some might say I’m stretching this a little too far and being too optimistic but hey, it’s all we’ve got. Believe it or not, Porsche did this before with the 918 Spyder. They could have easily put a downsized, turbocharged torque monster in the engine bay, but instead they chose to go with a 9000 RPM screaming V8 and I’m hoping they do the same when a 911 hybrid comes around. The chances are slim however, but I choose to be optimistic.

918

But, if Porsche choose to go with the former, it won’t be all that bad either. The turbo engines that we have right now in all the 911 models except the GT3 and GT3RS, aren’t all that bad. From the interior at least, they sound just like any other 911 and those turbos offer a massive torque boost and tuning potential. In any case though, a combustion engine is better than no combustion engine however and a hybrid system will definitely keep the combustion engine around for a lot longer. Either way, now is a great time to be a 911 fan and the future is bright.

Comment what you think, is a hybrid 911 with a naturally aspirated engine better, or a pure turbocharged one? Also check out our new Facebook group (link in the contact page). Donations are gratefully accepted as well (link in contact page)!

991.2 911

What Happened to the Porsche 960?

Is Porsche’s mid-engined supercar still in development, or has it been secretly killed off behind closed doors?

Does anyone even remember Porsche’s forgotten supercar project?

A few years ago, I heard a rumor about Porsche developing a mid-engined supercar set to compete with the likes of the Ferrari 458 and the Lamborghini Huracan. When I thought about it, this concept actually made a lot of sense.

I have a friend who is a very passionate Ferrari enthusiast and we always go back and forth about Porsches and Ferraris. Yet every time I would argue, I could never really find a Porsche that was really designed to compete with the Ferrari 458. There was the 911 Turbo, which would win in a straight line, and the GT3 which would win at a track, but the more I thought about it, both the Turbo and the GT3 were not really designed for the 458; with the Turbo being a GT car and the GT3 being a track car. There was no real Porsche “supercar”. Some would argue that the 911 GT2 and GT2RS were proper competitors but my friend and I agreed that these cars were really in their own league slightly above the 458. This bugged me for a while so one can only imagine my enthusiasm when I heard about this new car.

Porsche-960-digital-rendering

The years went on and on and eventually, this dream of a proper mid-engined Porsche supercar slipped out of my mind as I devoted my time to other things. This was all until a few months ago when the thought of this car randomly slipped into my head. Now, I hadn’t heard anything about this mythical supercar for a few years and I decided to do some research. It turned out that sometime in 2016, Porsche trademarked the name, 960, for its upcoming supercar. There were actually quite a few articles, all of which I was happy to read. Basically, I learned that the 960 was to be powered by a flat 8 engine and that it was going to be revealed for the 2019 model year. Then I realized something, it was the middle of 2018 and we had heard nothing; I looked closer at the articles, they were written around 2016. Had Porsche stopped development or had they moved this project behind closed doors? After reading some more, I realized that the project may have been either delayed or canceled due to Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal (which is probably the case). But I choose to be optimistic. It is my prediction, that the Porsche 960 will be unveiled at the upcoming LA Auto Show this year or a major auto show early next year. God, I hope I’m right.

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