Looking back: Porsche in 2020

Looking back: Porsche in 2020

The past year presented an unprecedented challenge for people and businesses around the world – and Porsche did not escape unchanged. The coronavirus crisis outbreak defined 2020, with huge ramifications for the way we live, work and travel. Nevertheless, there were still a number of highlights for the sports car manufacturer. 

January

The year starts with the first special edition of the 992 generation Porsche 911, in honour of Jacky Ickx. To celebrate the Belgian racing legend’s 75th birthday, and to honour his invaluable contribution to Porsche’s racing successes in the 1970s and 1980s, Porsche unveils the “Belgian Legend Edition”.

911 Carrera 4S, Belgian Legend Edition, 2019, Porsche AG

For the first time since 1997, a Porsche TV commercial is broadcast during the US Super Bowl. The game is among the most watched television events of the year and the advert features a breath-taking car chase with the all-electric Porsche Taycan and nearly a dozen icons from Porsche’s past and present.

Porsche TV commercial The Heist, 2020, Porsche AG

February

The GP Ice Race takes place in Zell am See – the home of the Porsche family – for the second time. In the Newsroom, Ferdinand “Ferdi” Porsche reveals how his “ice dream” became a reality.

911 GT3 RS, GP Ice Race, Zell am See, Austria, 2020, Porsche AG

Porsche Leipzig expands the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in central Germany: with “Porsche Turbo Charging”, the sports car manufacturer connects a new charging site to the grid at its production site in Saxony. It is Europe’s most powerful rapid-charging park.

Porsche Turbo Charging, Taycan 4S, Rapid-charging park, Leipzig, 2020, Porsche AG

March

Porsche stops production due to the coronavirus: with infection rates accelerating, Porsche follows government recommendations and calls a temporary halt to production. Porsche CEO Oliver Blume appeals to people to work together to overcome the crisis. The company significantly steps up its social commitments and Porsche brand ambassadors show their spirit of solidarity.

Factory, Zuffenhausen, 2020, Porsche AG

Porsche presents the next generation of the 911 Turbo S – more powerful, more dynamic and more comfortable than ever before. The new range-topping 911 is launched as a Coupé and Cabriolet but rather than making its debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, which is cancelled at the last minute due to the pandemic, Porsche hosts an entirely digital, first of its kind, world premiere.

911 Turbo S, 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, l-r, 2020, Porsche AG

April

With so much of the world urged to stay home and save lives, Porsche Newsroom launches a series of online masterclasses under the name #GetCreativeWithPorsche. The editorial team enlists the help of some of the automotive world’s most creative and talented people: from Porsche chief designer Michael Mauer through to Richard Pardon, whose photography has graced the covers of magazines the world over.

911 models, 2020, Porsche AG

The Newsroom also goes on the trail of rap, graffiti, DJing and breakdancing across Europe in a Porsche Cayenne S Coupé: together with music journalist Niko Hüls and the hip-hop magazine Backspin, Porsche presents the video documentary “Back 2 Tape”.  At the heart of the road trip with a Porsche Cayenne S Coupé are the four classic hip-hop disciplines: rap, DJing, graffiti and breakdancing.

Hip-hop documentary Back 2 Tape, 2020, Porsche AG

May

Porsche ramps up production again on a location- and task-specific basis, after implementing strict measures to ensure employees are kept as safe as possible, while allowing production to be increased gradually to full capacity. Albrecht Reimold, Production and Logistics Board Member, explains the details.

Production, 2020, Porsche AG

Porsche completes its classic sports car trio in time for summer: following on from the Coupé and Cabriolet, the third body variant of the new 911 generation makes its debut with the all-wheel drive derivatives, the 911 Targa 4 and 911 Targa 4S models. The cars celebrate their premiere via the web TV format 9:11 Magazine. A short time later, Porsche unveils the 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition.

911 Targa 4S, 2020, Porsche AG

June

A special anniversary: 50 years since Porsche scored its first overall victory at Le Mans. A total of 19 overall victories, countless class successes and some of motorsport’s most emotional moments link Porsche with the 24 Hours of Le Mans – the greatest and longest-established racing event in the world – but it was on 14 June 1970 that the company achieved its first overall win there in the 917 KH. Half a century on, the Porsche Museum presents the original winning car in a special exhibition.

917 KH, 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1970, Porsche AG

Fifty years after that legendary race, the Circuit des 24 Heures sits in eerie silence: with the 24-hour race postponed, and hundreds of thousands of disappointed spectators stuck at home, there is nothing but a yawning emptiness. Nevertheless, 50 stars from the world of real-life and online racing face their own endurance test – tackling the virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans on screen, from their respective homes around the world.

911 RSR, virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans, 2020, Porsche AG

July

The Porsche 911 Turbo has been the quintessential high-performance sports car offering everyday usability for the past 45 years. Following the market launch of the 911 Turbo S, the next generation of the 911 Turbo Coupé and Cabriolet joins the fleet – even more powerful, even faster and even more individual.

911 Turbo, 2020, Porsche AG

After a challenging first half to 2020, Porsche AG achieves a return on sales of 9.9 per cent. The sales revenue of 12.42 billion euros is down 7.3 per cent on the previous year; the operating result of 1.23 billion euros falls by 26.3 per cent compared to 2019.

911 Targa 4S, 2020, Porsche AG

August

With digital world premieres becoming the norm, Porsche presents the comprehensively revamped Panamera. While it’s the first time the world has seen the new car, it isn’t viewers’ first glimpse of the Panamera’s performance potential: a little while earlier, in a slightly camouflaged production car, test driver Lars Kern completes a full lap of the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife – a distance of 20.832 kilometres – in 7:29.81 , setting an official new record in the “premium class” category.

Panamera 4S E-Hybrid Executive, Panamera Turbo S, Panamera 4S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo, 2020, Porsche AG

Meanwhile, Pascal Wehrlein becomes a regular driver for the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team. The 25-year-old replaces Neel Jani to join André Lotterer for Season 7, and discusses the new challenge in the 12th episode of the “Inside E” podcast. The German racing driver also looks back on his motorsport experiences to-date and explains the special features of Formula E.

Pascal Wehrlein, 2020, Porsche AG

September

Porsche further expands its communication offering: with the 9:11 podcast, Sebastian Rudolph, Vice President Communications, Sustainability and Politics at Porsche AG invites two guests to discuss topics ranging from business and society to sport. To kick things off, Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche, joins journalist and entrepreneur Kai Diekmann to talk about the coronavirus and its consequences.

Fans of endurance racing have a treat in store as the 24 Hours of Le Mans takes place after its traditional mid-June date falls victim to the pandemic. Held over the weekend of 19/20 September, the French classic operates under strict rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but while the grandstands sit empty, spectators tune in across the globe to savour the action. The race ends with Porsche customer team Dempsey-Proton Racing on the winner’s podium but the Porsche GT Team, which fields two 911 RSR models, is plagued by bad luck.

911 RSR, FIA WEC, race, Le Mans, 2019, Porsche AG

October

The Porsche factory at Leipzig celebrates ten years of hybrid production: Porsche’s first hybrid car – the Cayenne S Hybrid – left the production line in 2010, marking a new chapter for the Saxon site and breaking new ground with the introduction of innovative new technology. With its decision to manufacture the next generation Macan as an all-electric variant in Leipzig, Porsche will invest in the region of 600 million euros at Leipzig.

Panamera 4S E-Hybrid, Leipzig, 2020, Porsche AG

Porsche completes the product line-up for the new Panamera with three new models – the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid and the Panamera 4S. Alongside the recently unveiled Panamera 4S E-Hybrid, Porsche now offers three plug-in hybrid Panamera models for the first time – each in the three available body variants of sports saloon, Executive (long-wheelbase version) and Sport Turismo. The move sees Porsche systematically extending its E-performance strategy.

Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo, Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Executive, Panamera 4S E-Hybrid, l-r, 2020, Porsche AG

November

Under the title “Porsche Unseen”, the company publishes concept car designs from 2005 to 2019 for the first time, having previously kept them under lock and key. Fifteen spectacular visions are unveiled, each falling into one of four categories: “Spin-offs”, “Little rebels”, “Hyper cars” and “What’s next?”. The concepts give an exclusive insight into the design process at Porsche – from the very first drawing to the finished model ready for series production.

Porsche 919 Street (2017; 1:1 clay model), 2020, Porsche AG

The Porsche GT Team achieves maximum success at its final outing in the GTLM class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. While the two 911 RSR works cars drive to a one-two victory, the customer team Wright Motorsports also bags a class win. The race ends the Porsche works participation on the North American sports car scene and allows the team to look back with pride on seven years of IMSA with seven titles. To mark the end of a special relationship with the championship, the liveries of both 911 RSR cars taking part feature an adaptation of the American national flag. Emblazoned in letters on the underside of each rear wing is the message “Thank You”.

Laurens Vanthoor, Neel Jani, Earl Bamber, Frederic Makowiecki, Nick Tandy, l-r, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Sebring, 2020, Porsche AG

December

Together with Siemens Energy and a number of international companies, Porsche AG announces it is developing and implementing a pilot project in Chile that is expected to result in the world’s first integrated, commercial, industrial-scale plant for making synthetic climate-neutral fuels (e-fuels). Porsche CEO Oliver Blume explains: “Electromobility is a top priority at Porsche. E-fuels for cars are a sensible complement to this – if they are produced in parts of the world where a surplus of sustainable energy is available. They are an additional step on the road to decarbonisation.”

911 GT3 RS, 2020, Porsche AG

Porsche aims to fight for overall victories with an LMDh prototype: The Executive Board at Porsche AG has given the green light to the development of an LMDh prototype. After a lengthy evaluation phase, Porsche Motorsport received the order to build a vehicle based on future regulations. From 2023, the LMDh cars will make up a new top class in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Graphic of the LMDh prototype, 2020, Porsche AG

 

 

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