The thrum from a boxer motor has a metallic timbre to it, the kind of sound motoring orgasms are made of. The only boxer-four motor I’d previously experienced was the one on a Subaru Forester and it had the automotive equivalent of a whooping cough. I can’t quite recollect what the reason was — a misfiring cylinder or something less dire — but I never quite got to grips with what a horizontally-opposed four-potter was like.
It would take November 2015’s 41-degree searing heat of Dubai to find answers. The reference to the bruiser is even true in auditory terms, the heavy cast-iron block with the pistons pushing against the opposite ends felt just like a boxer’s fist sitting snug in a glove filled with iron pellets. With the motor sitting right behind the transaxle, it pretty much sounds like a 356, which it is, but also isn’t. Welcome, then, to the Porsche 912, the black sheep and forgotten hero of Porsches, the one that resided in the large shadow of the 911. And yes, it was no pumpkin wagon.
Let’s answer the tricky bit first: the 356 connection is strictly the motor and some ancillaries. The rest of the body shell and mechanicals are the 911. It was still very much a Butzi design, but it was also a stroke of marketing genius, which Porsche continues to be to this very day. When Porsche launched the 911 in 1963-64, the successor to the 356 was not only quite modern, it was a good 60 per cent up on the sticker price and that was enough to send many Porsche loyalists in other directions. Porsche knew it couldn’t afford to keep things that way, so in 1965, as it wound down 356 production, it quietly discarded all its dyes and tools, kept the motor around, stuck it in a 911 shell and changed the nomenclature.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
BALANCE OF POWER
The younger sibling in the E-class AMG lineup is impressive on paper. How’s it in the real world?
The all-new Force Gurkha retains its hardcoreness and benefits from major updates
The all-electric version of Tata’s compact sedan is a compelling budget EV
EAST MEETS WEST
A Chinese hypercar that doesn’t bear the made-in-China stamp
The MG Astor is set to make a big splash in the midsize-SUV segment
BOY RACER DREAMS
The i20 N Line is exactly the budget performance hatch we always wanted
TVS is back with another update for the Apache RR 310 and we absolutely love it!
Is the new CB200X just a restyled Hornet 2.0? Or is there more to it?
RELIVING THE ‘60S
These three chronographs are based on Breitling’s Top Time models
Can the C5 Aircross be a more affordable alternative to entry-level luxury SUVs?
PORSCHE'S TOP SECRET SUPERCAR
The GT3 Touring is an absolute monster—in 911 clothing.
Are Boeing and Airbus Flying Into a Bubble?
They’re launching freighters just as competition from retrofitted jets and cargo space on passenger planes is heating up
SKYPOD FIRM IN UAE TIED TO INVESTMENT COMPANY FLAGGED ABROAD
The small, four-seat pod glides above the sands of a test track in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, a futuristic transit solution promoted by a Belarusian firm that hopes to secure contracts here in the near future.
Porsche to race on $45/gallon eFuel from direct air carbon capture.
Above and Beyond
Airlines elevate the premium travel experience in the air and on the ground.
2022 Porsche 911 GT3
There’s so much more to the new GT3 than its raw speed.
The evolution of desire
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DUBAI
Discover luxurious shopping, ultramodern architecture and a vibrant nightlife in Dubai, a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates. Home to nearly 200 nationalities, Dubai promises a truly memorable experience to all visitors — memories just waiting to be made.
WITHOUT ITS ROADSTER, PORSCHE MIGHT NOT EXIST TODAY
That was the headline on a New York Times story published on January 20, 1996, detailing the German marque’s effort to turn around its finances and reinvent the way it had built cars for more than 40 years.