30 Years a Star – You Thought it Was Just A VW engine!
For more than 30 years this engine with its crankshaft in the middle and three cylinders laid flat on each side, exceeded what we’d expect from a layout that descended from the VW Beetle.
The 911 engine provides sparkling performance and a vivid personality – a magic combination that has attracted followers to the Porsche faith since 1965.
When Porsche debuted the successor to the 356 sports car and called it the 901 in 1963, Peugeot was somewhat upset. They owned the rights to all three-digit car model designations with a zero in the middle.
The 901 subsequently became the legendary 911 before it reached European customers in 1964 and American buyers the following year. Since nothing hindered Porsche from retaining the 901 code for internal use, the 911’s flat-six engine was so named.
Hagerty has an excellent article that shows the development of the Mezger engine and the 911 from the original 1963 thinking right up to the end of the line with the 993. Take a browse.