Keeper of the Porsche grail looks to future
August Achleitner, director of the Porsche 911 model line, gives his view on the next genera
There’s an oft-repeated anecdote from 1990: the setting is a technical seminar in Berlin for engineers in the automotive industry. During a break, two participants are talking about the 911. One of them, a leading engineer for a major car maker from southern Germany, says: "If I had to improve that car, I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea. I think it would be incredibly difficult." The other, a leading engineer at Porsche, regards his counterpart with incredulity, and says nothing. It still elicits a chuckle from August Achleitner today when he thinks of his befuddlement back then in Berlin. Further developing the 911 has been his job for almost 20 years. Achleitner is the director of the 911 model line and is thus something like the keeper of the Porsche grail. "The heart of the company," he calls the 911. If one were to strip down everything that bears a Porsche logo, that exemplifies and drives the company, to reveal the core of the brand, it would look like a 911. With its unmista...