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Interview

Porsche 911 design icon: Tony Hatter

“I was born in Northern England, but whereas most of my friends were football fans, I was crazy about cars. My parents thought I should get into some sort of engineering apprenticeship, but that proved a bit of a dead end and I went to Lanchester Polytechnic [now Coventry University] where I did a degree which involved transport design.

“But vehicle design itself wasn’t properly understood at that time, and it wasn’t till I got to the Royal College of Art in London, where I spent two years, that I really discovered design and styling.”

Full of youthful enthusiasm, Tony Hatter was keen to join Porsche, but in 1981 the company wasn’t hiring so he found a styling position at Opel, moving to Porsche in 1986, a path trodden by a series of well-known Porsche designers beginning with the then-styling chief, Tony Lapine.

“As a newcomer I started off on small jobs, such as the wider rear bumper for the 964 Turbo, and I remember I did the ribbon latch pulls for the doors of the 964 RS. To be honest there wasn’t much happening, though we always had work on the Linde forklift to fall back on.” Linde was one of several major third-party contracts at Weissach.

Lapine retired after a heart attack in 1988, and his replacement, Harm Lagaaij, began in late 1989. Tony’s first recollections of the 993 are from the end of that year. “We started in early 1990. I was very pleased to be working on the new air-cooled 911.”

He describes the particular challenge of creating a new 911: “The Porsche board always had very firm ideas about its shape. It was claimed the 964 was 80 per cent new, but visually it looked barely 20 per cent new. We needed to do something less conservative, but without being too radical.

The front of the 959, the plans for the 989 four-door and the facelifts for the 928 showed the way in terms of the frontal aspect – this new, smoothed front became part of Porsche’s design vocabulary.”

Hatter is reluctant to acknowledge that budget constraints had a significant impact on the exterior design of the 993. “We did redesign the windscreen wipers, even if they didn’t fall below the level of the bonnet.”

And it must be admitted that mounting the wipers centrally as a pair made their operation far more effective. “Don’t forget that the body in white is essentially that 1963 car. There’s a limit to what you can do so, for example, you have to maintain things like the rain gutters. What I really wanted to do with those was ‘flow’ them into the rear of the car – that was difficult.

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Six raisons pour lesquelles Mark Webber aime la nouvelle Porsche 911

L’ambassadeur de Porsche et ancien pilote, Mark Webber, présente ses caractéristiques préférées sur la nouvelle Porsche 911 Carrera S à l’occasion du lancement en Australie de la nouvelle Porsche 911 de huitième génération. Sur la piste du Bend Motorsport Park, près d’Adélaïde, en Australie du Sud, il a évoquer six caractéristiques principales sur cette nouvelle …

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“Somebody Reasonable Would Not Drive So Fast in the Rain,” Inside the Mind of Jacky Ickx

« For those of you hoping to hear stories about racing, you will be disappointed. I am going to talk about gardening, » is a rather in auspicious start to three quarters of an hour with one of the top drivers in history. To Ickx, however, it’s a logical place to start. When he reached driving age at 16 his goal was to become a gardener or a gamekeeper, not a racing driver. With the gift of a motorcycle from his parents, Ickx’ path changed rapidly. Beginning in motorcycle trials, Ickx moved on rapidly to four wheels, and ascended quickly to the top levels. Not just Mr. LeMans, Ickx competed in 13 seasons of Formula 1, pranked valets, won the Paris-Dakar, Bathurst, and other races almost too numerous to mention.

With a deeply self-deprecating sense of humor, a quick wit, and surprising modesty, the man epitomizes Big Ickx Energy. To Ickx, his success in motorsport didn’t predominantly come from his own skill, but thanks to the stars aligning in everything that surrounded him, which « isn’t humility, it’s just being realistic. » Having the right tools and team at the right time brought him success more than his own efforts.

For the duration of the interview Mike Spinelli is quite obviously awed in the presence of a legend, and I fully empathize. Even several steps removed from the event, watching the interview on an iPad I was a bit starstruck by the openness and honesty of one of my motorsports heroes.

Grab your coffee and settle in. Even with 45 minutes at hand, Mr. Ickx has a lot of ground to cover in a relatively short time.

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Entretien avec Detlev von Platen sur le Porsche Cayenne Coupé

Avec la première mondiale du Porsche Cayenne Coupé, Porsche étend avec succès la troisième génération de sa gamme de SUV. Le véhicule impressionne par ses contours particulièrement dynamiques et ses nouveaux détails techniques qui lui confèrent une apparence très athlétique. Lors de la soirée de présentation du nouveau modèle à Stuttgart, Detlev von Platen en …

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Interview de Walter Röhrl suite à son essai du Porsche Taycan

C’est la deuxième fois que la légende des rallyes, Walter Röhrl et le Porsche Taycan, se rencontrent. Peu de temps avant de conduire la voiture, il semblait être à peu près aussi tendu que les ingénieurs chargés de surveiller l’essai, mais cela a changé très rapidement. Interview de Walter Röhrl suite à cet essai routier. …

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