In an age when most of its competitors have been absorbed into larger manufacturers, Porsche remains a staunchly — and profitably — independent maker of high-performance sportscars. The Porsche name has become
synonymous with sports cars and racecars because that is what company founders Ferdinand Porsche and his son Ferdinand ("Ferry") set out to build when they first set up shop with 200 workers in 1948.
Porsche introduces the aerodynamic "356," named for its design project number. Through 1949, the company hand-builds the first 52 cars in a small garage in Gmund, Austria.
Porsche leases space in the Reutter body factory in Zuffenhausen, a Stuttgart suburb. Reutter builds bodies for the 356 and production reaches 369 for the year. Sportscar enthusiasts take notice of the lightweight, quick-handling 356. In New York, importer Max Hoffman places the first North American order for Porsches.
Ferdinand Porsche dies. Horsepower for the 356 jumps to 60.
550 Spyder road/race model proves a "giant killer" among larger, more powerful cars from Ferrari, Jaguar, Maserati and Aston-Martin.
Speedster model introduced as low-priced, "stripped-down" version of 356. Today the 1954-1957 Speedsters are among the most sought-after Porsches by collectors.
10,000th Porsche built. Top performance road car is 100-hp Carrera.
10,000th 356 built. Porsche outsources body production as demand grows.
Porsche establishes independent distribution network in Europe.
Successor to the 356 first shown — the 911 powered by an all-new 2.0-liter, 130-hp six-cylinder engine. Porsche takes over its former body subcontractor, Reuter and establishes its own distribution network in the United States. Worldwide annual production surpasses 11,000.
911 production begins and the new model is an instant hit. US price: $5,500.
10,000th356 production ends after 17 years and 77,361 built. Porsche quickly responds to demand for new entry model with the 912 — the 911 body with the former 356 four-cylinder engine. US price: $4,000.
Porsche expands the 911 range quickly, adding an innovative Targa with removable roof panel (1966), Sportomatic semi-automatic transmission (1967), the high-performance 911 S (1967), a lower-priced 911 T (1968), fuel injection (1969) and larger engines (1970).
Production passes the 14,000 mark. Porsche enlarges the Zuffenhausen factory with a new multistory assembly operation.
Porsche replaces the 912 with the 914, a lower-priced, mid-engine sportscar. The 914 offers either a Volkswagen four-cylinder engine or a Porsche six-cylinder engine (914/6).
Porsche opens its Research and Development Center in Weissach, Germany. Ferry Porsche becomes chairman of the supervisory board of Porsche AG.
Porsche introduces 911 Turbo supercar in North America as a 1976 model. The 911 Turbo combines exotic car performance with luxury and everyday usability.
Porsche replaces the 914 with the 924, a front-engine sports coupe. The car is powered by an Audi engine and built by Audi and features a rear transaxle for optimal weight distribution. Porsche becomes the first carmaker in the world to heat-galvanize steel car bodies, and Porsche cars come with a six-year guarantee against rust.
Total Porsche production to date passes 300,000.
Porsche introduces the 928. It is radically different from the 911 and features a front-mounted, liquid-cooled 240-horsepower V-8 engine. The 911 becomes the 911 SC, featuring a 3.0-liter engine and a host of enhancements.
924 model joined by 924 Turbo. The 924 is Porsche's most popular model and also a successful racecar.
Porsche Cars North America established with its headquarters in Reno, Nevada. New 944 model based on 924 but with modified body and a Porsche-built four-cylinder engine.
First 911 Cabriolet introduced. In the US, the Cabriolet outsells the Targa and quickly accounts for about one-third of 911 sales.
Porsche AG goes public, with the Porsche and Piech families holding 875,000 shares of stock and 875,000 preferred shares listed for investors. 911 now known as the Carrera, featuring greater performance from a 3.2-liter engine.
Porsche 944 is first car sold in US with both driver's side and passenger airbags as standard equipment.
250,000th 911 built.
Body production ends at the former Reuter plant. Production shifts to a new factory across the street. Porsche contract-builds the 500E high-performance sedan for Mercedes-Benz. The company will build more than 11,000 of these cars through 1995.
Porsche introduces the all-wheel drive 911 Carrera 4 and the rear-wheel drive 911 Carrera 2. The cars share just 15 percent of their parts with the previous 911. New Tiptronic automatic transmission available for the Carrera 2 provides choice between fully automatic shifting and clutchless manual shifting.
Dr. Wendelin Wiedekin, head of production and materials management, becomes chairman of Porsche AG. Refocused on 911 development, Porsche introduces the final version of the air-cooled classic. The same year, Porsche unveils a concept for a mid-engine sportscar called "Boxster." Overwhelming positive response persuades Porsche to develop the car, which will appear in 1997.
Porsche discontinues its front-engine models, the 968 (the final evolution of the 944), and the 928.
One-millionth Porsche built in July. The 911 Turbo features the all-wheel drive system from the 911 Carrera 4, dual turbochargers and intercoolers and 400 horsepower.
Boxster introduced with mid-mounted 201-horsepower, 2.5-liter engine. Porsche quickly responds to worldwide demand by establishing a second Boxster assembly site in Finland.
Ferry Porsche dies at age 88. Porsche introduces the first 100-percent all-new 911 model since the first one in 1964. The new car breaks with 911 tradition by using a liquid-cooled engine — though it's still a horizontally opposed six. The all-wheel drive Carrera 4 introduces the Porsche Stability Management system.
Porsche confirms that it will build its new sport-utility vehicle in Leipzig, Germany. The vehicle, designed and developed by Porsche and shared with Volkswagen, is scheduled to debut in 2002.
Boxster features larger 2.7-liter engine. Boxster S introduced with 3.2-liter, 250-horsepower engine. All-new 2001 911 Turbo introduced with an engine based on that of the GT1 racecar that won LeMans in 1998.
Tiptronic S five-speed automatic transmission introduced as an option.
Porsche announces plans to produce the Carrera GT with a six-liter V10 engine. An all new 911 Targa and 911 Carrera 4S are introduced based on Porsche's current 911 models.
Porsche introduces Cayenne Sport Utility Vehicle as the Cayenne Turbo and Cayenne S. Boxster and Boxster S get power boosts from Porsche's patented VarioCam(r) engine technology.
Carrera GT Supercar and Porsche 911 GT3 arrive in U.S. Full line-up includes 911 Coupe, Cabriolet and Targa models, Boxster and Boxster S roadsters and Cayenne S and Cayenne Turbo sport utility vehicles. Special 40th Anniversary 911 and new V-6 Cayenne introduced.
The all-new 911 Carrera and Carrera S debut with a familiar silhouette, but with more power and options. 911 Turbo S, available as a coupe or cabriolet, comes standard with 444 horsepower and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes. New Cayenne standard features, including Homelink, an electronically latching rear tailgate and a six-speed manual gearbox on the Cayenne with a V6 engine.
At the Geneva Motor Show, Porsche shows the first series-production car with spark-ignition engine to feature a turbocharger with variable blade geometry (VTG) - the 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo. At Geneva, Porsche
also introduced the new Porsche 911 GT3. The new 911 GT3 was equipped with a 3.6 liter naturally aspirated engine develops 415 hp, also shown at this time. At about the same time the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S is launched.
The new 2008 Porsche Cayenne is unveiled to the public for the first time at the North American International Auto Show, the introduction marks the world debut of the more powerful and stylish generation of Porsche's sport utility vehicle. Porsche also plans the launch in Frankfurt, Germany, of its top-of-the-line 911 Turbo Cabriolet, which offers an exhilarating 480 horsepower (60 horsepower more than its predecessor), Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG), and all-wheel drive. The market launch is September 8, 2007.
On February 4 in the 200,000th Porsche Cayenne rolled proudly off the assembly line in Leipzig, Germany. The model was a Cayenne GTS, which was unveiled that month at the Chicago Auto Show and launched that
spring. That same month, Porsche Cars Canada, which had previously been a part of PCNA, becomes a separate subsidiary called Porsche Cars Canada.
On January 5th, Porsche releases the first photos of its first four-door sports sedan, the Panamera; the company also announces that the car will be unveiled for the first time at the Shanghai Auto Show that
February - Porsche begins selling the new Boxster Spyder.