The Storied History of the Flat-Four Engine

Flat 4 Porsche 718 Boxster Engine

The story of the flat-four engine begins in July of 1948. The Porsche 356 stood as the first vehicle under the Porsche brand, and its flat-four engine was only one unique feature it possessed. This vehicle won many contests: the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 1000 Kilometers of Buenos Aires, the Mille Miglia, and many others. Our story continues with the 550 A Spyder in 1953, built to take full advantage of its engine with its lightweight design. The 550 won a spectacular victory at the 1956 Targa Florio, finishing fifteen minutes ahead of its competition with Umberto Maglioli and Huschke von Hanstein in the car.

A year later, there was another development. They took even more weight off the car and created the 718, which won consecutively at the Targa Florio in 1959 and 1960 in addition to reigning as the European Hill Climbing Champion for three years from 1958-1961. In 1963, Porsche combined the steel box frame of the Carrera GTS to a polymer body. This helped Antonio Pucci and Colin Davis win the 1964 Targa Florio after a tense and exciting race.

The Porsche 924 was made for endurance driving in 1976, the 944 followed it in 1981 with a smoother running engine, and, most recently, the Porsche 919 Hybrid achieved victory at the 2015 Le Mans after being forced to pull out the previous year due to mechanical problems. The flat-four engine was one of several unique features in Porsche’s models, including the PDK transmission.

The PDK Transmission

PDK transmissions are composed out of two gearboxes, which means they have two clutches. It features both manual and automatic modes. PDK allows for very swift gear changes without interrupting the power flow, improved acceleration compared to manual transmission, and fast response time. PDK also reduces fuel consumption and increases the user’s level of comfort.

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