After decades of concentrating solely on making fast and fun automobiles, Porsche has announced that they are returning to a market they once had a strong presence in, tractors. Having produced a small handful of tractor models, including their most famous model the "Diesel Junior", Porsche feels the time is right to give that market a taste of their Sports Car medicine. The best in performance machinery can now be found in your gardening shed. Move aside John Deere, Porsche is here.
In a surprise move, Porsche's first foray into the tractor business in decades will be with a small-bore tractor of the lawnmower variety. In a joint brand initiative with home improvement giant Home Depot, Porsche will launch three new "riding" models over the next year, before expanding further into the "push" and "zero-turn" styles of mower. Rumor has it that president of Porsche Cars North America, Detlev Von Platen, and the CEO of Home Depot, Mr. Craig Menear, came up with the idea for the venture while playing tennis and sipping poolside mimosas at the Atlanta-area health club the two both frequent. The first model, with subtle styling cues taken from its namesake, is the Carrera "Rasentraktoren" (lawn mower), shown here. The full press release can be seen below.
The benchmark in its class: the Porsche Rasentraktoren
Atlanta. The newest member of the Porsche family is the hotly anticipated Rasentraktoren. This is the first time Porsche is introducing a sports lawn tractor, combining elements of the past, present, and future in one model. Our newest product is capable of mowing the grass at the Nurbürgring Nordschleife in under 37 minutes and 40 seconds, setting the new benchmark at the top of the premium riding lawn tractor market segment. It also makes a clear statement that Porsche will continue to promote radical riding lawn mowers in the future – sports tractors developed at the motorsport department in Los Angeles.
Where most lawn tractors on the market use some form of the Briggs & Stratton V-twin engine, the Rasentraktoren will make use of a brand new Porsche-designed watercooled engine displacing 175 cubic centimeters and producing 59 horsepower. This is an all-new engine for this market, and provides our tractors with a lower center of gravity for more efficient lawnscaping endeavors. Further aiding handling, we've enhanced our new lawn tractor with a wheel and tire package ideal that stems from our experience with road cars, employing larger wheels and tires at the rear of the car for improved acceleration, lateral grip, and engaging handling. Further engineering grafted from our road-car division includes a specially designed 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) gearbox with active powertrain mounts for optimum weight balance through faster corners. More focused mowing aficionados can select an optional 6-speed manual gearbox, if desired.
Employing a carbon monocoque chassis, further extending the connection between our new tractor and the all-conquering 918 Hybrid supercar, our full line of tractors are lightweight and agile. When equipped with a PDK gearbox, the Rasentraktoren accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 11.9 seconds; its top speed is 84 km/h. A generously sized Porsche carbon ceramic braking package is employed to ensure that the tractor can return to a complete stop quickly and safely.
Fit for recreational or commercial use: the Rasentraktoren differs from most lawn tractors in its rapid speed, as well as its grass-cutting efficiency. The cutting blades on the bottom of the tractor have been meticulously shaped in our wind tunnel not only to create the smoothest and most uniform cut possible, but also to evacuate air from the underside of the tractor, creating a downforce effect allowing you to push ever harder through the corners, finishing your lawn cutting much faster than competing tractors allow.
The Rasentraktor celebrates its world premiere on April 1st at the Springfield, MO Lawn and Garden Expo. See your local Home Depot store to place your order now, units will arrive in stores by the beginning of May. In Germany, the price of the Rasentraktor is 4,390 euros including VAT and country-specific features.
[Photos provided by Porsche]