Porsche, now a subsidiary of the vast Volkswagen group, is a storied automaker that was founded in 1931 by Ferdinand Porsche, an Austrian engineer, and a little-known Austrian lawyer who was Porsche's son-in-law, Anton Piech.
In its early years, Porsche didn't actually build vehicles bearing its own name, but rather worked as a consultant for the German government, at times developing cars - such as the iconic Volkswagen Beetle - and even...
working on military projects.
Eventually, however, Porsche would transition into building its own vehicles, starting with the Beetle-derived 356 and later expanding to the iconic 911 and numerous other respected sports cars. The automaker also became a force in the world of racing, enjoying success in nearly every major event, including an unparalleled 16 victories at the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Although Porsche is now controlled by Volkswagen following a failed hostile takeover bid, the storied German manufacturer is doing better than ever is most respects, having expanded beyond sports cars to the lucrative crossover and sedan segments.
The modern lineup consists starts at the bottom with the Boxster roadster, followed by the Caymen coupe, which compete with various offerings from BMW's M division and Mercedes-Benz's AMG skunkworks.
The 911 Carrera in its nearly countless forms still lives on, strong as ever, honed over the course of more than five decades of development.
The Porsche Panamera does battle with the top luxury sedans in the world, such as the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8 - although with an expected performance appeal unique to the Porsche brand and true to its heritage.
Of course, there is also the Cayenne, an SUV that horrified purists at first, but now accounts for more sales than any other model in Porsche's lineup. The Cayenne competes with the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz ML-Class, Audi Q7 and the Land Rover Range Rover.