Hans Mezger passed away yesterday at the age of 90. All of us Porsche enthusiasts are saddened by his death. He was the engineer behind the Porsche 917, the 930 Turbo, as well as the 911 engine. Born in the area of Stuttgart in Germany, he survived World War 2 and had a passion for aircrafts and cars. He graduated from Stuttgart Technical University with a mechanical engineering degree before starting working at Porsche. Text: Mickael B. © Photos: Porsche ©

Porsche 917-001 with Hans Metzger
Porsche 917-001 with Hans Metzger

Hans Mezger spent over 40 years with Porsche

The first “Mezger” engine was the Porsche 911 flat-six cylinder 2.0 liter engine. Hence the success of this engine, it brought him to lead the Porsche’s racing department. Following this promotion he developed the legendary 917, considered as his masterpiece. His approach to using new technology was key to Porsche’s success in racing. Even later at McLaren, he supported Nikki Lauda and Alain Prost achieve their world title thanks to reworked engines.

Hans Mezger with Nikki Lauda
Hans Mezger with Nikki Lauda

Our sports perception of Porsche is thanks to Hans Mezger

Hans Mezger was as well excellent at bringing successful technologies from the racing environment to Porsche road cars. For instance, the bypass valves developed on the 917 were installed later on the Porsche 930 Turbo. Although he retired in the mid 90s, his legacy at Porsche survived until the 997 GT3 RS 4.0, launched in 2012. It was the last car to incorporate the integrated dry sump system, otherwise known as the two part aluminium crank case, specific to the Mezger engine.

Hans Mezger in Porsche 930 Turbo
Hans Mezger in a Porsche 930 Turbo

Hans Mezger leaves a legacy which we should all be grateful of

Today, I believe that all these cars suddenly became invaluable collector cars, a testament to Hans Mezger’s genius and dedication to Porsche, which we were lucky to grasp during our visit of the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart back in 2016. His touch might not be in every Porsche, but it has been in every significant one. The 2.7 RS, the 930 Turbo, the 959, the 911 GT1, the 996 GT3 and 997 GT3 just to name a few.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 997
Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 997

We lost one of the greats today: Hans Mezger

Rest in peace Hans. Und vielen Dank nochmal für alle Autos, die du mit Porsche und anderen Wagenhersteller gemacht hast. (Translation: Thank you again for all the cars, that you created with Porsche and other car manufacturers). All our prayer goes to his family and friends.