Porsche set a new standard for comfort and reliability when its first 356 sport model rolled out in 1948. Today the independent brand leads performance class vehicles with a focus on design evolution and unique purchasing and ownership experience. To date, Porsche autos have won an estimated 24,000 races around the world, including more than 50 class wins at Le Mans.
In 1954, the 356 Speedster marked a new direction for Porsche, allowing the brand to begin offering a lighter, faster ride. However it was the 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster that introduced further refinements, including a larger 1,582 cc horizontally opposed OHV four-cylinder engine and curved glass windshield – a step up from the traditional split or bent shape.
The 10,000th 356 model was built in 1954, and Porsche began outsourcing body production to meet increasing demand. The Speedster was best known for its distinct squat form that still makes a sleek statement on the road today.
Born with a monocoque design that was extremely prone to rust, the 356A auto is now rarely found with original bodywork. Still the Speedster was a coveted model, and more than 4,700 were built before the Drauz-built Cabriolet D took center stage in 1958.
Fast forward to the present day and the 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder takes center stage. In place of traditional turbocharging, the design boasts the first-ever naturally aspirated engine with exhaust ports.
Porsche chose to forgo the weight of a traditional engine cover to expose the 608-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 exhaust piping, voluminous catalytic converters, and massive mufflers. The lead-bearing body is made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer to offer powerful torsional strength. Drivers of all abilities can experience the most advanced driving experience, as pedigree motor racing technology combines with reliable utility. Five different driving settings – Hybrid, Hot Lap, Race Hybrid, Sport Hybrid, and E-Power mode – and adjustable air flaps under the main headlights complete the car’s aerodynamic system.