Over the decades, Porsche has created some of the most memorable automotive designs in the world. Sleek yet playful, performance-oriented yet luxuriant — these are frequently vehicles to savor. But if you’re looking for a fuller understanding of Porsche’s impact on the automotive world, you might need to look beyond cars bearing the Porsche logo to get the whole story.
A new article by Adam Ismail at Jalopnik explores some of Porsche’s most fascinating work for automakers who aren’t Porsche. “[G]iven Porsche’s history as an engineering consultancy firm before building its own cars, there are far more examples of this in the company’s history than many realize,” Ismail writes — and the overview he’s assembled demonstrates an impressive range of styles and capabilities.
This includes some high-end cars, including the Mercedes-Benz 500E, which Porsche manufactured from 1990 to 1995. Ismail notes that it and the Volkswagen Beetle are the most well-known examples of Porsche’s engineering for other marques, but they’re far from the only ones. The 1999-2005 Opel Zafira, a collaboration with General Motors, is one example. So too is the Porsche 542, a prototype created for Studebaker and critiqued by one John DeLorean.
There are even a few motorcycles in the mix, including the 2002-2018 Harley-Davidson V-Rod. The whole article makes for a fascinating look into vehicular history — and it may well prompt a Gran Turismo flashback or two for readers of a certain age.
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