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Nuwe Porsche 718-reeks het ‘n trotse geskiedenis

Porsche het einde 2016 die Boxster en Cayman 718-modelle in Suid-Afrika bekend gestel.

Volgens MotorPlus se motorgeskiedskrywer, Daantjie Badenhorst, was Porsche se legendariese Spyder-modelle met die 550- en 718-benamings nog altyd gekenmerk deur ‘n middelgemonteerde enjin, liggewig-ontwerp en -stilering en kragtige en doeltreffende vier-silinderenjins.

“Hierdie motors was geskik vir baan- en heuwelrenne (“Hillclimbing”) en Porsche se fabriekspan asook verskeie van private Porsche-eienaars het groot sukses in motorsport met hulle behaal. Onder die bekende renjaers wat altesaam meer as 1 000 wedrenne met hulle gewen het, was Wolfgang von Trips, Graham Hill, Ricardo Rodriguez, Hans Herrmann en Jo Bonnier. Hierdie motors het werklik ‘n opskudding in motorsport veroorsaak; ondanks hul klein viersilinderenjins het hulle algehele oorwinnings behaal in wedrenne teen motors wat baie meer krag gelewer het.

Soos tipies is van Porsche is die Spyder trapsgewys ontwikkel. Die 550 was die eerste rasegte sportmotor uit Zuffenhausen; daar is van 1953 af 89 motors vervaardig en dit was die begin van ‘n reeks sportmotors met middelgemonteerde enjins. In 1956 is hy opgevolg deur die 550 A Spyder, waarvan 40 eenhede vervaardig is. Hierdie motor het ‘n buisraamwerk en ‘n kragtiger enjin gehad. In 1956 het die Italiaanse renjaer Umberto Maglioli die Targa Florio-wedren gewen; dit was destyds die mees veeleisende padwedren ter wêreld. Die “Fuhrmann”-enjin met sy vier bonokaste is vandag net so ‘n legende soos die motor self.

Die 550 A Spyder is in 1957 deur die 718 RSK, waarvan daar 34 vervaardig is. Die RS in die naam het vir Renn Sport (motorsport in Duits) gestaan en die K vir “Kurz” die Duite woord vir kort. Dit her verwys na die asafstand wat korter as dié van motors van dieselfde era was. Die 718 is ook in alle opsigte verbeter om die tekortkominge van die vorige modelle teen te werk.  Die sterk liggewig-ontwerp is moontlik gemaak deur deur ‘n buisraam van staal. Daarby is die enjin, onderstel en tromremme verbeter. Die 718 RSK het internasionaal sukses behaal, onder meer by Le Mans, Nürnburgring, Riverside in Kalfornië, Argentinië en verskeie heuwel-renne. Die 550 A Sypder en die 718 RSK het albei die potensiaal van hul ontwerpe in Formule 2-wedrenne verwesenlik. Die 718/2, ‘n enkelsitplekweergawe van die 718 RSK, het in 1960 die Formule 2-wêreldkampioenskap vir vervaardigers gewen.

Nadat die FIA se regulasies vereis het dat renmotors meer soortgelyk aan standaardproduksiemotors moes wees, is die 718 RS vir die 1960-seisoen ontwikkel. Daar is net 19 van hierdie motors vervaardig. Hierdie motor het gou die standaard gestel vir motors met ‘n enjinkapasiteit van 1,6 liter en sy belangrikste oorwinnings het plaasgevind by die Targa Florio; die twaalfuur-lange wedren op Sebring, en, in 1960 en 1961, die Europese heuwelrenkampioenskap. Daar is ook van Oktober 1960 af dertien 718 RS 61 Spyders gebou. Dit was hoofsaaklik individiuele renjaers wat met hom deelgeneem het en die hoogtepunt vanuit ‘n tegniese oogpunt was ‘n nuwe agterste veerstelsel met wensbene.

Om die potensiaal van die 718 Spyder by Le Mans nog verder te verwesenlik, is ‘n koepee-weergawe van die 718 RS 61 Spyder ontwikkel. In 1961 was die 718 GTR, wat nog met ‘n viersilinderenjin toegerus was, op die wegspringrooster. Vir die 1962-seisoen is hy toegerus met ‘n tweeliterenjin met nie minder nie as agt silinders, asook skyfremme. Die 718 W-RS Spyder het dieselfde meganiese spesifikasies gehad en het van 1961 tot 1964 aan motorsport deelgeneem, Die werktuigkundiges het hom gedurende sy motorsportloopbaan die bynaam “Grandmother” gegee. Die W-RS het ook die Europese heuwelrenkampioenskap in 1963 en 1964 gewen en sodoende die potensiaal van Porsche se middelenjinkonsep verwesenlik.

Die 718 is in 1964 deur die 904 vervang, maar die benaming leef nou voort in die pas bekendgestelde 718 Boxster en Cayman.”

 

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