The complete A-Z guide to Porsche terminology
Deepen your knowledge of all things Porsche
Six Porsche models in front of skyscraper skyline by day
Why go from A to B when you can explore Porsche from A to Z – or should we say air-cooled to Zuffenhausen? Brush up on your Porsche facts with our alphabetical rundown
Over the years, many words have become not just associated with Porsche but synonymous with the brand. Familiarise yourself with our glossary of Porsche words and you’ll be an expert in no time.A is for… air-cooled Porsche Bookended by the 356 and 911 (type 993), the years 1948 to 1998 mark a historic period for Porsche – the air-cooled era. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche and his son Ferry, the 356 was a rear-wheel-drive sportscar powered by an air-cooled flat-four engine. The engine was originally mid mounted in its prototype form – the famous 356 ‘No. 1’ Roadster – but later engines were rear mounted. An air-cooled engine was chosen as it was lighter than its water-cooled counterparts, which is better for fuel economy, acceleration, handling and braking. As the company’s first production car, the 356 laid the foundations for Porsche to become the leading sportscar manufacturer it is today. Fifty years on from the 356, the last air-cooled Porsche – the 911 (type 993) – was a rather different proposition, with technology that included ABS and power steering. The 993 remains highly regarded by enthusiasts for its combination of classic air-cooled styling, immersive performance and convenience features.B is for… BoxsterThis two-seater convertible sportscar was introduced at the 1993 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and created a buzz among the motoring press and the car-loving public alike. It was the first Porsche roadster since the 550 Spyder of the 1950s and 1960s. Named by combining the words “boxer” (referring to its horizontally-opposed engine) and “roadster” (referring to that two-seater, convertible design), it revitalised the brand’s image and helped introduce Porsche to a whole new audience. Its latest generation, renamed the 718 Boxster, was introduced in 2016.
White-gloved hand removing a Porsche badge from a case
The now iconic Porsche crest first made its appearance on a steering wheel in 1952
C is for… crestSince 1952, the Porsche crest has adorned every sportscar made by the company. Inspired by the Stuttgart city seal, it features a rearing horse in the centre framed by the contours of a golden shield as well as the name of the city that Porsche calls home. Featuring the state colours of red and black and stylised antlers, which are taken from the coat of arms of the former German state of Württemberg-Hohenzollern, the Porsche crest today is one of the world’s most recognisable brand logos.D is for… ducktailThe tale of the Porsche ducktail goes back a half century. First introduced in the early 1970s as an optional feature for the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7, the rear wing’s distinctive shape earned it the name that has since became indelibly linked with Porsche. Designed to improve handling and stability on the racetrack, in the 50 years that have followed, it’s remained a huge inspiration for every dramatic aerodynamic rear wing seen on the fastest Porsche road cars. Its most recent appearance has been on the striking 911 Classic Club Coupe, a one-off developed by Porsche with the Porsche Club of North America.
Green Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 in front of apartments
Launched in 1972, the 911 Carrera RS 2.7, with its distinctive ducktail rear wing, became a trailblazing sportscar
E is for… Exclusive ManufakturOffering the highest level of customisation for over 70 years and counting, the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur department specialises in enhanced personalisation for customers through its wide range of options. From Paint To Sample exterior colours and bespoke interior materials, to performance upgrades and personalised design details, the team at Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur work closely with customers to bring their visions to life. Through meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail, Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur truly transforms a Porsche into your Porsche.F is for… FerdinandFerdinand Porsche, the Austrian-German founder of the company that continues to bear his name today, had a passion for engineering from a young age. His engineering genius led to the design of such landmark vehicles as the Lohner-Porsche, considered the first-ever hybrid car at the start of the 20th century, and later the Volkswagen Beetle. In 1931 Ferdinand founded Porsche AG in Stuttgart, Germany. Of course, there was another Ferdinand who played a crucial role in shaping the company’s identity and success – Ferdinand Porsche’s son, Ferry. Ferry was the man who uttered that famous line, “I couldn’t find the sportscar of my dreams, so I built it myself.” Ferry was the driving force behind many innovative designs during his life, from the Porsche 356 to the Porsche 911. While his father laid the foundations, it was Ferry Porsche who built upon them from 1948 to turn Porsche into the globally recognised brand that it is today.G is for… GmündIn 1944, Ferdinand Porsche moved his company from Stuttgart to Gmünd, in the Carinthia region of Austria. It was here, in the buildings of a disused sawmill, that the first car to bear the Porsche name was developed. The 356 featured a lightweight aluminium body and a rear-mounted, flat-four engine – an innovative design that would pave the way for the iconic Porsche sportscars that would follow.
Black and white photo of Porsche 356 in Gmünd
The first vehicle to bear the Porsche name – the 356 – was built on the premises of a former sawmill in Austria
H is for… hybridThe Lohner-Porsche Mixte was a significant milestone in the Porsche timeline as the world’s first-ever hybrid car, paving the way for the modern hybrid cars of today. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche and Ludwig Lohner in 1900, it was powered by two electric motors, one for each front wheel, and a gasoline engine that served as a generator to recharge the batteries and extend the car's range. For almost a century, the Lohner-Porsche Mixte, also known as the "Semper Vivus" (meaning "always alive" in Latin), remained the last Porsche-designed electrified car, until the launch of the Cayenne S Hybrid. What’s more, electromobility at Porsche dates back even further than that, with the first fully-electric Porsche, the Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton, introduced in 1898.I is for… IPOPorsche entered a new era in September 2022 when the bell ringing at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange marked its successful IPO (Initial Public Offering). This monumental milestone for Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG (in other words Porsche AG and its consolidated subsidiaries, the Porsche Group) meant stepping into a new chapter with increased entrepreneurial flexibility. At its time of its initial listing, it was the largest IPO ever carried out in Europe in terms of market capitalisation.J is for… Junior ProgrammeDesigned to help young drivers reach their full potential and prepare them for a successful career in motorsport, the Porsche Junior Programme has helped many develop their skills and progress through the ranks since its launch in 1997. The driver selected each year competes in a variety of Porsche one-make racing series for a whole season, such as the Porsche Carrera Cup and Porsche Supercup, as well as other international GT and endurance racing events. Providing access to the latest Porsche racecars, expert technical support, and a team of experienced mentors has meant that every one of the Porsche Juniors has gone on to enjoy successful racing careers, like former Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard and Patrick Long among them.K is for… kitesurfing Porsche and kitesurfing have more in common than you might think. Bridging these two worlds are two of the sport’s biggest talents, Liam Whaley and Rita Arnaus, who have embarked on epic adventures with Porsche in 2023. With the Taycan Cross Turismo the perfect vehicle to take the pair to the beach, and the Macan S the perfect vehicle for a roadtrip across freezing Alaska with a Duotone Porsche-inspired kite, they prove that Porsche and kitesurfing perfectly meet at the intersection of performance, precision and pushing boundaries.L is for… Le MansThe rich history of Porsche sportscars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans began in 1970, where the Porsche 917 notched its first overall win. And its dominance at the greatest endurance race of them all didn’t end there. During the 1980s Porsche secured seven consecutive wins, with the Porsche 956 and 962 instrumental to its success during this period. More recently, the Porsche 919 Hybrid achieved a new record lap time of 3 minutes 14.791 seconds in 2017. With 19 total Le Mans victories, Porsche can lay claim to more wins than any other manufacturer in the race’s history.
Red, white and black Porsche 917 at Le Mans
The historic Le Mans-winning Porsche 917 is considered by many as the greatest endurance racecar of all time
M is for… modelsWith more than 95 models in the current seven-car Porsche line-up there’s a wealth of choice for every prospective buyer. Spanning the 718 Boxster, 718 Cayman, 911, Taycan, Panamera, Macan and Cayenne model lines, the comprehensive Porsche range guide takes you through each in detail so you can identify which is the right Porsche for you.N is for… NFTPorsche entered the world of Web3 in 2022 with the launch of its NFT collection – one that offered every holder the chance to help shape their very own Porsche 911 digital artwork and join a one-of-a-kind Porsche community. Based around one starting canvas – a white Porsche 911 Carrera – each NFT in the collection could be customised in subsequent phases, including changing the exterior colour, licence plate and other design details. This first step into Web3 activity is just the start of the journey for Porsche.O is for… ORIGINALEThe annual Porsche Classic magazine and must-have coffee table book for Porsche enthusiasts covers products in fascinating detail. Delighting readers since 2016, Porsche ORIGINALE is more than just a parts catalogue – it provides epic stories, featuring the latest Porsche Classic products, whether that’s real life restorations or events to get readers inspired to embark on a Porsche project of their own.
Hands of a woman holding Porsche Classic’s ORIGINALE magazine at a table
Epic stories starring the latest Porsche Classic products are found inside every edition of ORIGINALE magazine
P is for… PDKPorsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) is the name of the innovative dual-clutch transmission system used in Porsche vehicles. Replacing the previous Tiptronic gearbox system in 2007, it has two separate clutches that allow for quick, seamless gear shifts without interrupting power delivery to the wheels. One clutch handles the odd-numbered gears, while the other handles the even. This system allows for lightning-fast gear changes with no interruption in power delivery, resulting in better acceleration and performance. It also offers a sport mode for faster gear changes, controlled either through the gear selector or through steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Available on models across the 911, 718, Macan, Panamera and Taycan ranges, it’s a system that helps deliver thrilling driving experiences.Q is for… qualityWith over 70 per cent of Porsche vehicles ever built still on the road today, Porsche has long been known for its high standards of quality control and reliability. To make sure it stays that way, rigorous inspection and testing takes place during production. Working closely with suppliers at the next stage, Porsche then ensures quality standards for parts and components through conducting regular audits. What’s more, customer feedback is highly valued, and it’s constantly used to continue improving products and pave the way for new innovations.R is for… racingPorsche has a long and illustrious racing history that spans over seven decades, although it was with the Porsche 917K in 1970 and 1971 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans that Porsche began its dominance in endurance racing competitions. In the form of the Porsche 956 and 962 it won seven Le Mans titles. With over 30,000 races competed in and numerous titles over the years – including such fabled events as the Targa Florio, Carrera Panamericana and Monte Carlo Rally – racing pulses through the veins of Porsche. More recently, Porsche has been proving its electromobility prowess in Formula E with the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. In 2023, the Porsche racing mantel has been handed down to the game changing Porsche 963, the LMDh sports prototype that is competing in the both the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship.
Red, white and black Porsche 963 speeding down a racetrack
The Porsche 963 LMDh prototype from Porsche Penske Motorsport entered the world of endurance racing in 2023
S is for… SportwagenThe German word for sportscar, Sportwagen, is an integral part of Porsche vocabulary. The Porsche Sportwagen is known for its performance, precision and high-quality engineering – and there’s a Sportwagen in every model, from the two-door sportscars right up to the SUVs. T is for… TurboTurbocharging increases engine power output by forcing more air into the combustion chamber by using a turbine. It’s driven by exhaust gases that compress the incoming air which then fed into the engine for combustion. Porsche introduced the Turbo name into its line-up in 1974 with the Porsche 911 Turbo, the first production car to use turbocharging technology. Some of the great Turbo models in Porsche history include the 944 Turbo, Porsche 968 Turbo, 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S.
U is for… uniqueWhen it comes to building a custom Porsche almost anything is possible. The Sonderwunsch (special request) programme breathes life into Porsche dreams, from factory recommissioning to a complete one-off vehicle builds. Porsche has created many unique Porsche vehicles over its history, such as the one-of-one a kind Classic Club Coupé and the Porsche 911 Sally Special, inspired by the Sally Carrera character from Pixar’s Cars movie series.V is for… Vision GTFrom virtual car to art car, the Porsche Vision Gran Turismo not only featured in one of the year’s top racing games but has wowed spectators in real life as a concept car. Freed from the normal constraints of creating a production car, the designers at Porsche were given the creative freedom to explore new ideas and concepts. At world-renowned gaming convention Gamescom 2022 it was entrusted to artist Vexx, who hand painted the entire vehicle in his signature style. If you are a Gran Turismo 7 player you can now drive that very Porsche art car, dressed in Vexx’s standout livery.
Bold and colourful Porsche Vision GT with Vexx hand-painted livery
The Porsche Vision GT concept painted by Belgian artist Vexx
W is for… water-cooledFor five decades Porsche was associated with air-cooled engines, but it’s now over 25 years since the introduction of the 911 (type 996) marked the beginning of the water-cooled era for the most iconic of Porsche cars. In fact, water-cooled engines first appeared in Porsche cars in the 1980s in the form of the 924, 944 and 928 models. Today, with advances in modern engine technology and lightweight sportscar production by Porsche, water-cooled is here to stay.X is for… Porsche X Porsche X BOSS, Porsche X TAG Heuer, Porsche X RIMOWA, Porsche X Bose… Porsche has engaged in a wealth of like-minded partnerships with other iconic brands over the years, many of them enduring ones, like its 50-year relationship with tyre manufacturer Michelin. From luxury luggage with RIMOWA to unique timepieces with TAG Heuer, these collaborative brands have become part of the extended Porsche family.
Side view of Porsche 911 with psychedelic, colourful pattern
2023 marks 75 years since Porsche was founded heralding a colourful celebration of the company’s vibrant history
Y is for… yearsIn 2023, it’s a case of 75 years and counting for Porsche. Three-quarters of a century after the first-ever Porsche car, the 356, 2023 will be a year-long Porsche celebration presented in full colour. The 75th birthday will pay homage to Ferry Porsche’s original dream – one that led to a kaleidoscopic automotive story like no other. Z is for… ZuffenhausenZuffenhausen is the home of Porsche. The factory complex in the northern suburbs of Stuttgart, Germany has been a hub of automotive manufacturing for more than 70 years as the HQ for Porsche. Today, the plant is the company’s largest production site. Zuffenhausen is also home to the Porsche Museum and Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur among others. It’s no wonder that a local public square was named Porscheplatz in its honour.
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