Heritage and Design
Where did the name "Porsche" come from? The vehicle and company were named for its founder, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche. It's also the reason that the brand is properly pronounced "Porsh-a" instead of the commonly mispronounced "Porsh".
What was the very first Porsche made? The first vehicle to bear the Porsche name was the Porsche 356, also known as Porsche Number 1, built in 1948.
What does the name "Carrera" mean? Quite fittingly, the 911 Carrera gets its namesake from a race. The Carrera Pan-American is a grueling road race across Mexico's Pan-American Highway. It was first run in the 1950's.
What is a Targa Top? A Targa top refers to the retractable glass roof on our 911 Targa models. It is named after the Targa Florio, a famous endurance road race held in Sicily, Italy, from 1906 - 1977.
Why is the ignition on the left? This trademark Porsche design feature is a vestige of our early racing days. Back then, road races began with drivers sprinting to their cars, starting them up, and speeding away. By placing the ignition on the left side of the steering wheel, race drivers could gain an extra second or two by starting the vehicle with their left hand and putting it in gear with their right hand.
How extensive is the Porsche racing history? Porsche has always been involved with racing. In fact, Porsche vehicles have captured over 28,000 major class and overall victories, including those at world class competitive events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Daytona, the mountain climb at Pike's Peak, and Paris to Dakar. Not only does Porsche participate in racing, but it uses the track as a laboratory for all future engineering. The result is a degree of racing technology found in almost no other line of street cars.
Why can't you see the engine in a Boxster? The Boxster engine is mid-mounted, which means it's located behind the passenger compartment, but in front of the rear axle. This layout gives Boxster its trademark agility and superb handling characteristics. It's also the reason you'll find trunk space in the front and rear of the Boxster.
What is the PCA? Porsche is a brand that owners and enthusiasts get behind in a big way. One of the biggest examples is The Porsche Club of America. It allows you to join other Porsche enthusiasts for PCA-sponsored rallies, autocross events, tours, driver education, restoration and technical sessions. Visit delawarepca.net for details about the Delaware Region Porsche Club of America.
What is the Porsche Driving Experience? At the PDE, you learn how to drive your Porsche to its full potential with instruction from Porsche racing drivers. Courses at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama are designed to take you and your Porsche to new levels of excellence either on-track with all of our models or off-road in the Cayenne. More information can be found on PorscheDriving.com.
Performance and Engineering
Why is power-to-weight ratio so important? Power-to-weight ratio is expressed as power divided by the vehicle's weight. Porsche engineers take great care to design vehicles with superior power-to weight ratios, using light materials whenever possible. Some car companies blindly add accoutrements to their designs with little regard for the weight it adds to the vehicle. This is why a Porsche can out-accelerate and outperform a vehicle that has more horsepower but weighs more.
What are the benefits of lightweight wheels? Unsprung weight is the portion of a vehicle that is not supported by its suspension. This generally includes the suspension itself, wheels, tires and brakes. A lower unsprung weight allows the vehicle to respond more quickly and precisely to changes in the road surface.
What is torque, and why is it important? Torque is a physical measurement of force. In generic terms, torque is what gets you up to speed and horsepower is what keeps you there. All Porsche engines are designed to provide peak torque early and consistently through the power band.
What is a "flat-six" or "horizontally opposed" engine? This refers to the alignment of the pistons in our 6-cylinder engines. In this configuration, two rows of three pistons are laid horizontally, rather than placed vertically as in most vehicles. A flat-six is also referred to as a boxer engine because the two rows of pistons face each other, pumping back and forth like a boxer's fists. The main advantage of a flat-six is that is creates a low center of gravity, making the vehicle more balanced and capable of aggressive cornering and handling that is so legendary to Porsche.
What is a Tiptronic S? A Tiptronic S refers to the Porsche automatic Tiptronic transmission. It allows the driver to let the vehicle's computer do the shifting or to select the Tiptronic mode and shift manually using the buttons located on the steering wheel.
What is VarioCam? VarioCam Plus is the Porsche patented variable valve-timing system. It continually adjusts valve timing for increased power, smooth running at all speeds, better fuel economy and lower emissions.
What is an undertray? An undertray is a series of panels fitted to the underside of a Porsche that improves its aerodynamics and avoids turbulence.
Could I take a Cayenne off-roading? Yes. Cayenne is just as impressive off the road as it sis on the road. Its all-wheel drive and traction technologies were perfected from decades of challenging hill climbs and desert rallies and racing around the world.
What is Sport Chrono? The Sport Chrono Plus Package is available on the Boxster, 911 and Cayman S. Pressing the Sport button on the center console of the vehicle gives you increased throttle response and sportier handling characteristics. Additionally, it has a stopwatch function that allows you to time and record your performance.
Why does the spoiler extend and retract at certain speeds? At 75 mph the rear spoiler on a Boxster, Cayman and 911 extends to create down force on the rear of the vehicle to better hold the road. High amounts of down force are not needed at low speeds, but rather at high speeds as lift begins to affect the vehicle. Thus we created a spoiler with the ability to extend and retract.
What is the benefit of a dry sump? Dry sump lubrication is a race-proven technology that ensures a reliable supply of oil while keeping engine operating temperatures lower. This allows Porsche engines to have greater efficiency and optimizes the advantages of our lighter, all-alloy engines. It also helps ensure engine safety during high cornering, acceleration or deceleration loads.
Why do Porsche brake calipers come in different colors? Porsche brake calipers come in three different colors: black, red and yellow. Black calipers are on all base model vehicles. Red calipers distinguish an "S" model line vehicle. Yellow calipers are on the optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake system.
What is a ceramic brake? Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) are the race-proven brake technology now available on all 911, Cayman S and Boxster models. They are made from a carbon fiber/ceramic compound that results in a harder disc that's more resistant to high temperatures. They feature large 6-piston front calipers and 4-piston rears with a high fade resistance, lower unsprung weight and reduced stopping distance. PCCBs meet the demands of high performance driving.
What is the difference between a 911 Carrera and a 911 Carrera 4? A 911 Carrera 4 is equipped with Porsche all-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive helps the Carrera 4 harness all of the power to the ground and helps pull it through turns.
What does the "S" stand for? The "S" in a Porsche model's name refers to "Sport." The Cayenne S, Boxster S, Cayman S, or 911 Carrera S offers drivers a sportier version of the base model. The S model offers greater horsepower and engine displacement and overall higher performance relative to the base model.
What is the difference between a 911 and a 997? There is no difference. 997 refers to our internal designation code for the various versions of models. For example, we stopped making the 911 Carrera type 996 in 2004. We began making 911 Carrera type 997 in 2005. the newest Boxster is type 987. The previous Boxster model was type 986.
What is the Porsche philosophy on vehicle safety? You might not expect that some of the safest vehicles on the road would also be race vehicles. At Porsche, safety is a natural result of high performance. We pride ourselves in building some of the safest vehicles, both on the track and on the road. Additional safety steps are taken by engineering active and passive safety systems into every Porsche model.
What do Active and Passive safety mean? Active safety refers to a Porsche automobile's capacity to help you avoid troublesome situations on the road using the vehicle's superior power, braking and responsiveness. Passive safety systems like Porsche Side Impact Protection (POSIP) and dual front airbags can help protect you if a collision becomes inevitable. Porsche was one of the first automotive manufacturers to standardize airbags across all model lines.