Learn about the Flat Engine Tradition at Porsche

The 911 is the iconic vehicle that people think of when they picture a Porsche, down to its distinctive silhouette. That shape is made possible by the use of a flat engine, which holds a place near and dear to the hearts of many a Porsche admirer. We'd like to explain what makes this engine special when compared to other internal combustion designs.

The history of the flat-engine design dates back to 1896 when Carl Benz created what he termed a "contra engine," doe to its two cylinders working in opposition to each other. The core principle, both then and today, is that the cylinders lie flat and slightly offset to one another.

The beauty of this air-cooled engine lies in the fact that its flat and lightweight, which makes it an ideal choice for sports cars -- especially ones that sit low, as the Porsche 911 does. By lowering the center of gravity, this engine allows for a more dynamic, sportier driving style. The car's traction gets improved when the engine is installed at the rear of the vehicle, as Porsche does, because the engine's weight sits on the drive axle. This placement also helps when it comes to braking, as that engine weight allows for more braking force to transfer to the rear wheels.

Today's Porsche six-cylinder flat engine is a smooth-running machine that also lowers fuel consumption when engine power increases. After all, it only makes sense for the engine that powers the 911 to be suitable for everyday use in addition to an exhilarating driving experience.

At Porsche Chandler, we're proud to assist Porsche aficionados from the Phoenix area in finding the model of their dreams. We cordially invite you to visit our showroom at your convenience to discover all that Porsche has to offer.

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