Ferdinand Porsche was born in Bohemia in 1875. This northern vestige of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was ethnically German, but a problem existed when traveling: The Alps. At the dawn of the automotive age, no car was capable of overcoming the altitude, so he devised a brilliant solution. This is why Porsche is the ultimate mountain machine.

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Going uphill, a rear-wheel-drive car is fighting itself. Having the engine upfront is like Sisyphus wearing slippery shoes. True genius was reversing the layout. Placing the engine behind the rear wheels forces them into the ground. Not only does it work great on flat land, point the nose up and the effect is magnified.

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From the Beetle to the 356 and the 911, they really shine going skyward. A rear-engine car has more grip going uphill than any other situation, so your right foot responds with glee. Add in the latest advances in All-Wheel Drive and Rear Wheel Steering and you have a recipe for high-altitude happiness.

Click the button above for an amazing book by Stefan Bogner & Jan Karl Baedeker. "Porsche Drive" features incredible views from 15 famous Alpine passes. The final part of the trilogy will be published on October 10th, so click the link above for the first book and stay with us for all your Porsche news.


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