In the Spring of 1975 the Porsche 930 Turbo was launched. It was a turbocharged version of the 911. This model quickly rose to the top of Porsche's lineup and eventually the word Turbo even surpassed it's physical meaning of an internal combustion engine's forced induction transcending to the full electric 2020 Taycan Turbo.
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If you read my articles, you may remember the one titled 'Numerology', where we tried to simplify the digital nomenclature that Porsche has utilized to designate it's models since inception.
I'm referring to the partial list of: 356, 550, 718, 911, 912, 914, 917, 918, 919, 924, 928, 929, 930, 932, 934, 935, 944, 935, 951, 956, 959, 962, 964, 968, 968, 980, 986, 987, 981, 989, 991, 992 ,993 ...... and that's just the sports cars.
But Porsche has also tagged some monikers to some of its icons.
Where do those names come from and what is their significance?
Published in the July 2022 issue of “Die Porsche Kassette”
What's in a Name?
This name first appeared on a 1955 356A.
This moniker makes reference to Porsche's success in the 1953 Carrera Panamericana endurance road race held in Mexico.
In 1974, the same name was tagged onto the Carrera RS.
After that, the name Carrera has become synonymous with 911.
In 2004 Porsche again specifically used the name to identify its second supercar: The Carrera GT.
In model year 1967, Porsche first tagged a new version of the 911 as a Targa. Like the name Carrera, Targa was used to reference the Italian (Sicily) Targa Florio open-road race where
Porsche had experienced great success.
The Targa was Porsche's response to the
rumors that convertibles could soon be banned
in the US market. Therefore they made a convertible with an integrated roll bar. In the Targa's Owner's Manual it states: “Someday all convertibles will have an integrated roll bar”. Nowadays they all do.
Meaning a lighter, nimbler version of a sports car, the first use by Porsche came in 1955 when they introduced the 550 Spyder. The name came from the horse-drawn carriages of the 1800s. The lighter, less cumbersome 2-person carriages with tall wooden wheel spokes somewhat resembled spiders and the name stuck. Later, auto makes would tack Spider or Spyder on their special, lightweight sport cars.
In modern times, Porsche calls the top-of-the-line Boxster, the Spyder which is equivalent in performance to the Cayman's GT4.
And then, there's the legendary 918 Spyder!
In 1993 Porsche introduced the Boxster Prototype at the Detroit Auto Show. It eventually went into production in 1996 as a two-seater convertible. The name Boxster is a contraction of the words “boxer” and “roadster”. Boxer in reference to the “boxer” engine so called because each pair of pistons move in and out like a boxser's gloves.
The Central and South American caiman is a powerful yet agile crocodile-like predator. In 2006 the Cayman joined the convertible 987 Boxster as it's coupe version. They both evolved into the 981 and today into the 982 (718) versions of Porsche's highly successful 2-seaters.
Debuting in 2002 the name is in reference to the cayenne pepper.
A bold choice for this new SUV with a fiery nature.
The name comes from the Indonesian Tiger, acknowledging the fierceness that lies beneath the vehicle's elegant exterior. The Macan is today considered as the sportiest of compact SUVs.
Again, referring to the Mexican Carrera Panamericana, the name was assigned to Porsche's 4-door transporter.
The first all-electric Porsche takes its name from two terms of Turkic origin, translating approximately to “soul of a spirited young horse”.
Porsche says that the name
also reflects the brand's roots
and its future simultaneously,
with the 'horse' reference
reminiscent of the iconic
silhouette on the Porsche crest itself.
Taikan, in Japanese roughly means 'physical experience' – something you won't fail to agree with once you seat behind the wheel of a Taycan.