Why do Porsches have the key on the left?

By Editor | Posted in Uncategorized on Friday, February 24th, 2017 at 2:09 pm

Porsches have a rich and illustrious racing heritage, which is why Aristocrat Motors is proud to be Kansas City’s only Porsche dealer. Unlike some other brands, whose heyday is long since passed, Porsche is still out there putting their reputation on the line, and claiming trophy after trophy. They won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for a historic 18th time in 2016. This is an event that has been tied to the brand’s identity for decades. You can still see the influence of that race on every Porsche manufactured to this day.

For those of you who don’t know, back in the day, drivers at Le Man did not start inside their racecars. When the flag dropped, the driver had to sprint across the width of the track, climb into their car, buckle in, start up, and take off. That’s a lot to manage when you’re trying to squeeze out an edge over the other teams. Porsche, in typical German ingenuity, figured out a way to speed up the process.

They relocated the ignition key to the left of the steering wheel. That meant that a driver could start the key with one hand as they put it into gear with the other. That’s a small advantage, but in an event like this, it could mean everything. Trying to shave fractions of a second off when you’re racing for twenty four hours straight seems ridiculous, but if you can get out ahead of the pack, and start building your lead early, that’s worth everything.

To this day, the key in every Porsche, from the 911R to the Cayenne E-Hybrid, remains to the left. Even those models that no longer even use a physical key have the fob positioned there. Even as Porsche moves more and more into the mainstream with SUVs and crossovers, their racing lineage is never far behind. You can feel it in every single model as soon as you turn the wheel.

So come down to our showroom in Merriam and experience the legend for yourself.

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