ICON: Type 2623

Porsche and Turbo: a combination that celebrated success from the mid-1970s onwards—first on the racetrack and then on the road.


The Porsche 917 most notably sets standards in endurance racing. And Formula One sets its sights on the advanced technology from Zuffenhausen: in 1981, Porsche is commissioned by the venerable British racing team McLaren and the TAG (Techniques d’Avant-Garde) group of companies to develop a turbo engine. Hans Mezger—then head of the Racing Vehicle Design department—is the creative mind behind this engine. Only two years after placement of the order, the engine with type designation 2623 is ready to race. 

This V6 twin-turbo revolutionizes Formula One. In the first development stage, it mobilizes 700 PS from a displacement of only 1.5 liters. In subsequent years, it reaches 660 kW (900 PS) at 12,000 rpm in racing. Top speeds of up to 350 kmh are possible. In addition to its superior performance, the engine features lightweight construction, compact dimensions, excellent fuel efficiency, and, above all, reliability. 

The cooperation between Porsche, McLaren, and TAG proves to be one of the most successful in Formula One history. With Porsche power, McLaren drivers win a total of twenty-five grands prix between 1984 and 1987. The 1984 World Drivers’ Championship goes to Niki Lauda—with the narrowest possible lead of half a point over his teammate Alain Prost. In 1985 and 1986, Prost secures two of his four world championship titles. The McLaren-TAG-Porsche team is also able to win the World Constructors’ Championship in 1984 and 1985.

Back in 1985, TAG took over the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Heuer. Over decades, a close relationship grew with Porsche, resulting in a new strategic brand partnership at the beginning of 2021. In addition to joint development projects, sights are now set on a world championship again: in its second season, the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team is already competing for victories in the innovative racing series with the purely electrically powered Porsche 99X Electric.

Thomas Ammann
Thomas Ammann
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