If it takes a village, as they say, to raise a child, it surely takes an entire company to build a car – sporty or otherwise. But at Porsche, that's come down to one man more than any other. And now he's retiring.
That man is August Achleitner, who has, for the past 18 years, been the one individual responsible for developing every new version of the 911. He's also handled the 718 Boxster/Cayman program since 2016. But with the development of the new 911 now complete, Achleitner is hanging up his driving gloves for good.
August Achleitner first joined Porsche in 1983, woking on chassis development as a as a mechanical engineer. He held a variety of roles until 2001 when he took over responsibility for the pivotal 911 line, ushering three generations of the iconic sports car into production and onto the market, and added responsibility for the 718 a couple of years ago.
Now that he's retiring, Achleitner will hand over responsibilities to Frank-Steffen Walliser, the head of Porsche Motorsport and the GT line that's given us such notable variants as the GT3 and GT2, and previously the father of the 918 Spyder.
That puts him in prime position to take over the 911 program. Walliser will assume Achleitner's mantle at the beginning of the new year, by which time we can expect Porsche to have named his successor as the head of Porsche Motorsport and head of GT development.
“We thank Gustl Achleitner for his extraordinary commitment to our company,” commented Porsche CEO Oliver Blume, to whom Achleitner reported directly, on the changing of the guard. “Over the course of 18 years, he shaped the Porsche 911 more than anyone else. He understood just how to continually refine the 911, while always retaining its character.”