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News: PartyCasino Brings Back The Porsche Promotion; PartyCasino Launches Four New Slot Games

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Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, often shortened to Porsche AG, or just Porsche, is a German sports car manufacturer, founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, the engineer who also created the first Volkswagen. The company is located in Zuffenhausen, a city district of Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg.

In a May 2006 survey, Porsche was awarded first place as the most prestigious automobile brand by Luxury Institute, New York; it questioned more than 500 households with a gross annual income of at least US $200,000 and a net worth of at least US $750,000. The current Porsche lineup includes sports cars from the Boxster roadster to their most famous product, the 911. The Cayman is a hard top car similar to the Boxster in a slightly higher price range. The Cayenne is Porsche's mid-size luxury SUV. The Carrera GT supercar was recently phased out in May 2006. Future plans include a high performance luxury saloon/sedan, the Panamera. Porsche was the first to use a variable geometry turbocharger in a gasoline powered production automobile.

Porsche was awarded the 2006 J.D. Power and Associates award for highest Nameplate Initial Quality Study (IQS) of automobile brands.

As a company, Porsche is known for weathering changing market conditions with great financial stability, while retaining most production in Germany during an age when most other German car manufacturers have moved at least partly to Eastern Europe or overseas. [citation needed] The headquarters and main factory are still at Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, but the Cayenne (and formerly the Carrera GT) is produced at Leipzig, in former East Germany. Most Boxster and Cayman production is outsourced to Valmet Automotive in Finland. The company has been highly successful in recent times, and indeed claims to be the most profitable car company in the world (in terms of profit margin per unit sold; its absolute profits would be dwarfed by Toyota).

Porsche has for many years offered consultancy services to various other car manufacturers. Studebaker, SEAT, Daewoo, Subaru and Yugo have consulted Porsche on engineering for their cars or engines. Porsche also helped Harley-Davidson design their new engine in their newer V-Rod motorcycle.

Motorsport
In racing, Porsche's main rival has traditionally been Ferrari, though traditionally their production vehicles appeal to quite different personalities, if similar demographics. Commercially, Ferrari sells far fewer cars at much higher prices than Porsche (for example, there are no Ferraris under US $100,000, while almost all Porsches are priced below that figure). Porsche's rivalry with Ferrari is primarily because of both companies' storied racing heritage and the fact that some of their vehicles are of comparable performance, not because of direct competition between some models.

Porsche's traditional rivals for the daily-driver marketplace are its fellow German automakers Mercedes-Benz and BMW, who compete more directly with Porsche (example, the Boxster competes directly with the BMW Z4 and the Mercedes-Benz SLK). Ferrari, on the other hand, competes more directly with firms such as Lamborghini and Aston Martin (companies Porsche only competes partially with). Porsche also competes with Lotus, Jaguar, and Maserati.

History

Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the Porsche firmThe first Porsche, the Porsche 64 of 1938, used many components from the Volkswagen Beetle. The second Porsche model and first production automobile, the Porsche 356 sports car of 1948, was built initially in Gmünd, Austria, the location to which the company was evacuated during war times, but after building forty-nine cars the company relocated to Zuffenhausen.

Many regard the 356 as the first Porsche simply because it was the first model sold by the fledgling company.

Ferdinand Porsche, pictured to the left, worked with his son, Ferry Porsche, in designing the 356. Not long afterward, on January 30, 1951, Ferdinand Porsche died from complications following a stroke.

The 356 automobile used components from the Beetle including its engine, gearbox, and suspension. The 356, however, had several evolutionary stages, A, B, and C, while in production and many VW parts were replaced by Porsche-made parts.

The last 356s were powered by entirely Porsche-designed engines. The sleek bodywork was designed by Erwin Komenda who also had designed the body of the Beetle.


Zuffenhausen Headquarters - left: Porsche Center; rear left: body shell assembly; right: vehicle assemblyIn 1963, after some success in motor-racing, namely with the Porsche 550 Spyder, the company launched the Porsche 911 another air-cooled, rear-engined sports car, this time with a 6-cylinder "boxer" engine. The team to lay out the body shell design was led by Ferry Porsche's eldest son, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche (F. A.). The design phase for the 911 caused internal problems with Erwin Komenda who led the body design department until then. F. A. Porsche complained Komenda made changes to the design not being approved by him. Company leader Ferry Porsche took his son's drawings to neighbouring body shell manufacturer Reuter bringing the design to the 1963 state. Reuter's workshop was later acquired by Porsche (so-called Werk II). Afterward Reuter became a seat manufacturer, today known as Keiper-Recaro.

The design group gave sequential numbers to every project (356, 550, etc) but the designated 901 nomenclature contravened Peugot's commercial rights on all 'x0x' names, so it was adjusted to 911. Racing models adhered to the "correct" numbering sequence: 904 906, 908. The 911 has become Porsche's most well-known model, successful on the race-track, in rallies, and in terms of sales. Far more than any other model, the Porsche brand is defined by the 911. It remains in production; however, after several generations of revision, current-model 911s share only the basic mechanical concept of a rear-engined, six-cylinder coupe, and basic styling cues with the original car. A cost-reduced model with the same body, but 356-derived running gear (including its four-cylinder engine), was sold as the 912.

The company has always had a close relationship with Volkswagen, and as noted above, the first Porsche cars used many Volkswagen components. The two companies collaborated in 1969 to make the VW-Porsche 914 and 914-6 whereby the 914-6 had a Porsche engine and the 914 had a Volkswagen engine, in 1976 with the Porsche 912E (USA only) and the Porsche 924, which used many Audi components and was built at an Audi Neckarsulm factory. Most 944s also were built there although they used far fewer VW components. The Porsche Cayenne, introduced in 2002, shares its entire chassis with VW Touareg, which is built at the Škoda factory in Bratislava. Both Audi and Škoda are wholly owned subsidiaries of Volkswagen. In late 2005, Porsche took an 18.65% stake in VW, further cementing their relationship and preventing a takeover of Volkswagen, which was rumored at the time. Speculated suitors included DaimlerChrysler, BMW, and Renault.

The Porsche 912, a Porsche of the 1960sIn 1972 the company's legal form was changed from limited partnership to private limited company (German AG), because Ferry Porsche and his sister, Louise Piëch, felt their generation members did not team up well. This led to the foundation of an executive board whose members came from outside the Porsche family, and a supervisory board consisting mostly of family members. With this change, no family members were in operational charge of the company. F. A. Porsche founded his own design company, Porsche Design, which is renowned for exclusive sunglasses, watches, furniture, and many other luxury articles. Ferdinand Piëch, who was responsible for mechanical development of Porsche's serial and racing cars, formed his own engineering bureau and developed a 5-cylinder-inline diesel engine for Mercedes-Benz. A short time later he moved to Audi and pursued his career through the entire company, up to and including, the Volkswagen Group boards.

The first CEO of Porsche AG was Dr. Ernst Fuhrmann who had been working in Porsche's engine development. Fuhrmann was responsible for the so-called Fuhrmann-engine used in the 356 Carrera models, as well as the 550 Spyder, having four over-head camshafts instead of a central camshaft as in the Volkswagen-derived serial engines. He planned to cease the 911 during the 70s and replace it with the V8-front engined grand sportswagon 928. As we know today the 911 outlived the 928 by far. Fuhrmann was replaced in the early 80s by Peter W. Schutz, an American manager and self-proclaimed 911 aficionado. He was replaced in 1988 by the former manager of German computer company Nixdorf Computer AG, Arno Bohn, who made some costly miscalculations that led to his dismissal soon after, along with that of the development director, Dr. Ulrich Bez, who was formerly responsible for BMW's Z1 model and today is CEO of Aston Martin.

In 1990, Porsche drew up a memorandum of understanding with Toyota to learn and benefit from Japanese production methods. Currently Toyota is assisting Porsche with Hybrid technology, rumored to be making its way into a Hybrid Cayenne SUV.

Wendelin Wiedeking, president and CEO of Porsche since 1993Following the dismissal of Bohn, an interim CEO was appointed, longtime Porsche employee, Heinz Branitzki, who served in that position until Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking became CEO in 1993. Wiedeking took over the chairmanship of the board at a time when Porsche appeared vulnerable to a takeover by a larger company. During his long tenure, Wiedeking has remade Porsche into a very efficient and profitable company.

Ferdinand Porsche's grandson, Ferdinand Piëch, was chairman and CEO of the Volkswagen Group from 1993 to 2002. Today he is chairman of the supervisory board. With 12.8 per cent of the Porsche voting shares, he also remains the second largest individual shareholder of Porsche AG after his cousin, F. A. Porsche, (13.6 per cent).

Porsche's 2002 introduction of the Cayenne also marked the unveiling of a new production facility in Leipzig, Saxony, which once accounted for nearly half of Porsche's annual output. The Cayenne Turbo S has the second most powerful production engine in Porsche's history, with the most powerful belonging to the Carrera GT.

In 2004, production of the 605 horsepower Carrera GT commenced in Leipzig, and at EUR 450,000 ($440,000 in the United States) it was the most expensive production model Porsche ever built.

As of 2005, the extended Porsche and Piech families controlled all of Porsche AG's voting shares. In early October 2005 the company announced acquisition of an 18.53% stake in Volkswagen AG and disclosed intentions to acquire additional VW shares in the future. As of June 2006, the Porsche AG stake in Volkswagen had risen to 25.1%, giving Porsche a blocking minority, whereby Porsche can veto large corporate decisions undertaken by VW.

In mid-2006, after years of the Boxster (and later the Cayenne) as the dominant Porsche in North America, the 911 regained its position as Porsche's backbone in the region. The Cayenne later took the lead again temporarily.

The 911 is the current sales leader and can be credited for more than two fifths of Porsche's sales; the Cayenne currently takes less than a third. Slightly under a tenth of Porsche sales consist of the Boxster, while the Cayman takes up more than a fifth (which may be explained by the recent expansion of the line). Total Porsche sales in the United States and Canada hover between 2,000 and 3,000 a month.

In Germany the 911 clearly outsells the Boxster/Cayman and Cayenne.

Auto racing

Porsche leads in the number of overall wins at the 24 hours of Le Mans race with 16.Porsche has been successful in many branches of auto racing, scoring a total of more than 28,000 victories.

As Porsche only had small capacity road and racing cars in the 1950s and 1960s, they scored many wins in their classes, and occasionally also overall victories against bigger cars, most notably winning the Targa Florio in 1956, 1959, 1960, 1964, and every year from 1966-1970 in prototypes that lacked horsepower relative to the competition, but which made up for that, with reliability and good handling. In their September 2003 publication, Excellence magazine identified Lake Underwood as Porsche's quiet giant in the United States [1] and he is among the four drivers, including Art Bunker, Bob Holbert, and Charlie Wallace who are identified by the Porsche Club of America as having made Porsche a giant-killer in the USA during the 1950s and early 1960s. [2] Notable early successes in the USA also included an overall win in the 1964 Road America 500 for an under-2-litre rs-60 driven by Bill Wuesthoff and Augie Pabst.

Particular success has been in sports car racing, notably the Carrera Panamericana and Targa Florio, races which were later used in the naming of street cars. Also, they did well in the Mille Miglia and especially 24 hours of Le Mans where they have won sixteen times overall, more than any other company, plus many class wins.

Porsche started racing with lightweight, tuned derivatives of the 356 road car, but rapidly moved on to campaigning dedicated racing cars, with the 550, 718, RS, and RSK models being the backbone of the company's racing programme through to the mid 1960s. The 90x series of cars in the 60s saw Porsche start to expand from class winners that stood a chance of overall wins in tougher races where endurance and handling mattered, to likely overall victors. Engines grew from two litre units to three litres in the 908 and to 4.5, and eventually, to five litres in the 917. Meanwhile, the 911 was establishing a reputation in production-based racing and in rallying.

The Porsche 917 is considered one of the most iconic sports racing cars of all time and gave Porsche their first Le Mans win, while open-top versions of it, utterly came to dominate Can-Am racing. After dominating Group 4, 5, and 6 racing in the 1970s with the 911-based 934 and 935, and the prototype 936, Porsche moved on to dominate Group C and IMSA GTP in the 1980s with the Porsche 956/962C: one of the most prolific and successful sports prototype racers ever produced.

Porsche scored a couple of unexpected Le Mans wins in 1996-7 - a return to prototype racing in the USA was planned for 1995, with a Tom Walkinshaw Racing chassis, formerly used as the Jaguar XJR-14 and the Mazda MXR-01 fitted with a Porsche engine. IMSA rule changes struck this car out of the running and the private Jöst (Joest) team raced the cars in Europe for two years, winning back-to-back Le Mans with the same chassis. This is a feat Porsche had also achieved in the 956 era; contrasting with the 1960s and 1970s where most cars ran only one or two races for the works before being sold on.

Porsche regards racing as an essential part of ongoing engineering development—it was traditionally very rare for Porsche racing cars to appear at consecutive races in the same specification. Some aspect of the car almost invariably, was being developed, whether for the future race programme or as proof of concept for future road cars.

Many Porsche race cars are run successfully by customer teams, financed and run without any factory support; often they have beaten the factory itself. Recently, 996-generation 911 GT3s have dominated their class at Le Mans and similar endurance and GT races.

The various versions of the 911 also proved to be a serious competitor in Rallys as long as regulations allowed them to compete. The Porsche works team was only very occasionally present in rallying in the 1960s and 1970s, but the best private 911s often were close to other brand works cars. Jean-Pierre Nicolas even managed to win the 1978 Monte Carlo Rally with a private 911 SC. The Paris Dakar Rally was won twice, also using the 911 derived Porsche 959 Group B supercar.

Porsche also has participated in single seater racing with mixed results; Formula Two cars, initially based on the RSK sports racer, first appeared in the late 1950s and enjoyed some success; these cars moved up to Formula One in 1961 and in 1962 a flat-eight powered 804 produced Porsche's only win as a constructor in a championship race, claimed by Dan Gurney at the 1962 French Grand Prix. One week later, he repeated the success in front of Porsche's home crowd on Stuttgart's Solitude in a non-championship race. At the end of the season, Porsche retired from F1 due to the high costs and lack of success. Privateers continued to enter the out-dated Porsche 718 in F1 until 1964.

Porsche returned to Formula One in 1983 after nearly two decades away, supplying engines badged as TAG units for the McLaren Team. The TAG engine was designed to very tight requirements issued by McLaren's John Barnard—he specified the physical layout of the engine to match the design of his proposed car. The engine was funded by TAG who retained the naming rights to it, although the engines bore "made by Porsche" identification. TAG-Porsche-powered cars took two constructor championships in 1984 and 1985, three driver crowns in 1984, 1985, and 1986.

Porsche returned to F1 again in 1991 as an engine supplier, however, this time with disastrous results: Porsche-powered Footwork cars failed to score a single point, and failed even to qualify for over half the races that year; Porsche has not participated in Formula One since.

Porsche attempted an Indianapolis 500 entry in the late 1970s with a turbocharged 911-based engine in a bespoke car for Danny Ongais and the Interscope team; failure to agree turbo boost levels with USAC meant that this was shelved, although the engine later became the basis of that used in the 956 and 962. They returned to CART in the 1980s with a turbo V8 in their own 2708 chassis, but this did not enjoy any success and a March chassis scored their only successes.

Porsche has sponsored the Carrera Cup and Supercup racing series by providing cars and support since 1990. The late 1990s saw the rise of racing success for Porsche with The Racer's Group, a team owned by Kevin Buckler in Northern California. In 2002, Buckler won the 24 Hours of Daytona GT Class and the 24 Hours of Le Mans GT Class. In 2003, a 911 run by The Racers Group (TRG) became the first GT Class vehicle since 1977 to take the overall 24 Hours of Daytona victory.

Stock and lightly-modified Porsches are raced in many competitions around the world; some of these are primarily amateur classes for enthusiasts, but the Porsche Michelin Supercup is a wholly professional category, raced as a support category for European Formula One rounds.

Porsche dropped its factory motorsports programs during the turn of the twenty-first century, preferring to support privateers, for financial reasons. An LMP1 prototype with a V10 engine similar to that used in the Carrera GT was abandoned, unraced. Porsche has only recently made a comeback with the new RS Spyder prototype, and even this is run by closely-associated customer teams rather than by the works. Based on LMP2 homologation regulations, the RS Spyder made its debut for Roger Penske's team at Laguna Seca during the final race of the 2005 ALMS season, and immediately garnered a class win in the LMP2 class and finishing 5th overall. The RS Spyder clearly possessed the pace to challenge the Audi and Lola P1 automobiles in the ALMS on all but the fastest circuits winning the LMP2 championship on its debut year.

Major Victories and Championships

Porsche cars :

14 Makes and Team World Championship (1964, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1994)
8 Long Distance World Championship
3 IMSA Supercar-Series (1991, 1992, 1993)
6 German Racing Championship (1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985)
20 European Hill Climbing Championship
20 Daytona 24 Hour (1968, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1995, 2003)
15 IMSA Supercar-Race (USA)
16 Le Mans 24 Hour (1970, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998)
17 Sebring 12 Hour (1960, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988)
11 Targa Florio (1956, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1973)
4 Rallye Monte Carlo (1968, 1969, 1970, 1978)
2 Paris-Dakar Ralley (1984, 1986)
1 Formula 1 victory (1962)
TAG-Porsche engine in McLaren cars :

3 Formula 1 Driver World Championship (1984, 1985, 1986)
2 Formula 1 Constructor World Championship (1984, 1985)
25 Formula 1 victories (1984, 12 wins; 1985, 6 wins; 1986, 4 wins; 1987, 3 wins)

Famous collectors
Miles Collier, Jr. - grandson to Barron Collier, purchased the renowned seventy-one car collection of Briggs Cunningham and combined some of the collection with his own, that includes about twenty Porsche race cars—including their class winners at Sebring, the Porsche 904GT in 1964 and Porsche 917K (Kurzheck) in 1970—when he created a museum dedicated to his father Miles, and uncles, Sam and Barron Jr., who founded the 1933 Automobile Racing Club of America that metamorphosed in 1944 into the Sports Car Club of America
James Dean - died on the way to a hospital after a crash in his silver Porsche 550 Spyder, caused when he was cut off by another driver, in September 1955 near Cholame, California
Bill Gates - briefly was jailed in Albuquerque for racing his Porsche 911 in the New Mexico desert; imported a Porsche 959 which was impounded by U.S. Customs
Richard Hammond - Top Gear co-presenter, owns two 911s and a 928
Janis Joplin - owned a Porsche 356-C Cabriolet that was extravagantly and psychedelically painted for her by Dave Richards to match her public persona
Steve McQueen - raced Porsche prototypes, owned a Porsche 356 Speedster, a Porsche 908, and a Porsche 917, and made a movie dedicated to the 24 Hours of Le Mans
Carl Sagan - astronomer, astrobiologist, scientist, and a highly successful science popularizer—remembered for his articulate explanations of astronomical and cosmological research while commenting upon space exploration to the public—whose license plate bore the name of a moon of another planet in our solar system
Jerry Seinfeld - rumored to own one of the largest collections of Porsche automobiles in the world
Lake Underwood - Porsche's Quiet Giant —so named by Excellence magazine (a magazine covering everything Porsche)— has several historic Porsches among his collection

Pronunciation of "Porsche"
"Porsche", a proper name, is originally pronounced as, PORSH-uh (IPA /'p????/) (correct pronunciation which is how members of the Porsche family pronounce their name.

Some tend to vocalize the e, which results in Por-SCHA. Others, particularly in Canada and the United States, mistakenly treat the e as silent, an English pronunciation rule that does not apply to German, producing the monosyllabic, porsh.

The correct pronunciation of "Porsche". (Creditz: Wikipedia).

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