Porsche 597 The 4×4 – When Porsche presented its Cayenne SUV in December 2002, many fans of the legendary 911 cried wolf! Should Porsche remain focused on “sports”?
Now we can consider that the Cayenne, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, has saved the brand commercially.
A Porsche 4×4? It was not the first!
In the 1950s, the Stuttgart brand had already tried a 4×4 with the Type 597, intended to save money by responding to a call for tenders from the German army.
Indeed, in the context of the Cold War, the western part (FRG) will gradually join NATO.
Porsche participated in this effort by proposing in 1954 a 4×4 vehicle inspired by Jeep or Land Rover with off-road capabilities, solid and reliable: this would be the Porsche Type 597.
Designed by Ferry Porsche personally, the Porsche 597 was also based on the experience gained with the Volkswagen Kubelwagen and Schwimmwagen (independent work of the floating “bath” type) designed by Ferdinand Porsche’s father for the Wehrmacht.
597 has been inspired by amphibious prototypes and equipped with a folding thruster.
powered by a slightly damaged 356 engine for the occasion. The 597 has a 50 hp engine mated to a 5-speed axle transmission for 4-wheel drive.
In terms of performance, this 990 kg Porsche can cope with a slope of up to 65 °, and reach 100 km / h. Despite these performances and an order of 50 copies (produced between 1955 and 1958), it was the DKW Munga (low cost) that was chosen by the German army.
The German company then tried to release it to the public under the name “Jagdwagen” by making a few extra copies in a “comfortable” configuration, but it was unsuccessful.
The production of this Porsche 597 is therefore estimated at 71 copies.
50 copies would still be in progress, which certainly makes it the object of many ambitions.
It will be discovered at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart!