Porsche marks the passing of Hans Mezger (1929-2020)

Hans Mezger and the 917 | Porsche photographs

Hans Mezger, the engineer who designed the air-cooled, 6-cylinder boxer engine for the Porsche 911 and later the all-conquering 917 race automobile and its 12-cylinder engine, died Wednesday, Porsche AG introduced. He was 90.

“The information of his loss of life represents a really unhappy loss for us,” mentioned Michael Steiner, the Porsche board member for analysis and growth. “We thank Hans Mezger for his extraordinary engineering achievements, which he has carried out for motorsport usually and for Porsche particularly. His improvements for our sequence sports activities vehicles will stay unforgotten without end.”

For three a long time, Mezger was liable for Porsche’s racing vehicles, and his engineering designs included the TAG Turbo Method One engine.

Mezger listens to suggestions from Niki Lauda

Mezger was born within the fall of 1929. His mother and father ran a rustic inn and the younger Mezger was fascinated by flight. A faked medical certificates allowed him to keep away from army service when he turned 15 years outdated in 1945 and to proceed his research, although with so many males getting back from the battle and taking locations in universities, Mezger spent a 12 months as an intern studying machining, welding, iron and aluminum manufacturing, and mannequin making.

He graduated in 1956 and was employed to do calculations for Porsche’s diesel-engine growth program. In 1960, he began calculating cam profiles for Porsche’s first F1 effort.

“On this Method 1 venture, I additionally realized rather a lot concerning the design of combustion chambers” he later recalled. “This additionally instantly benefited the design of the 6-cylinder boxer engine for the later 901/911. 

“Ferry Porsche, together with his visionary management of the corporate, his human qualities, dignity and nice dedication, turned my function mannequin. I wholeheartedly shared his philosophy of racing with a view to construct one of the best sports activities automobile for the highway.”

He designed the “Mezger engine” for the 901 and 911, and in 1965 was promoted to go of race automobile design.

“Generally we additionally labored across the clock – like in 1965 once we created the Ollon-Villars Bergspyder in simply 24 days and shortly thereafter the 910,” he recalled. 

Porsche famous that, “With its building of a tubular body, fiberglass physique and design for brand new Method 1 tire expertise, it turned the blueprint for all of the race vehicles that have been constructed within the years to comply with.”

Mezger additionally was liable for the design of the Porsche 917 and its 12-cylinder engine. The automobile dominated at Le Mans after which within the Can-Am sequence. 

Along with the engines for a protracted record of Porsche racing and manufacturing vehicles, Mezger did a 4-cylinder engine for Harley-Davidson bikes within the late 1970s.

Mezger and his turbocharged F1 engine

“However maybe probably the most excellent venture took off in 1981 when Ron Dennis and his McLaren racing crew set out in the hunt for a robust turbo engine for Method 1,” Porsche mentioned in its announcement of Mezger’s passing.

“Ultimately, Porsche was chosen and the choice was made to design and construct a very new engine, in addition to to offer on-site help in the course of the races. Once more, Hans Mezger was the inventive mastermind behind the 1.5-liter, V6 engine with an 80-degree financial institution angle, which might later produce greater than 1,000 horsepower.

“In 1984, Niki Lauda turned world champion with it, and once more in 1985, adopted in 1986 by Alain Prost. The TAG Turbo received a complete of 25 races, plus the 2 Constructors’ World Championships in 1984 and 1985. 

“This was a convincing success and likewise probably the most important growth contract for Porsche from an exterior firm.”

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