Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, the automotive and industrial designer best known for his creation of the iconic Porsche 911, died in Salzburg, Austria, at age 76.
Better known as Butzi, he was the grandson of company founder Ferdinand Porsche and the eldest son of Ferry Porsche. In recent years, Butzi Porsche was the honorary chairman of the Porsche AG supervisory board.
Ferdinand Piech, longtime chairman of the Volkswagen Group, was Butzi Porsche's first cousin. Piech's mother Louise was a sister of Ferry Porsche.
Butzi Porsche was born in Stuttgart in late 1935 and during his childhood spent considerable time in the workshop of his grandfather, who designed the original Volkswagen, or "people's car," for German dictator Adolf Hitler.
Much of the Porsche family relocated to Austria in 1943. After the war, Butzi Porsche studied at the College of Design in Ulm, Germany, and eventually joined the sports-car company established by his father. It was there that Butzi Porsche was tasked with developing a successor to the Porsche 356, which culminated in 1963 in the design of the now-familiar 911. Fifty years later, the 911 has entered its 11th generation and has generated numerous derivatives, from high-performance racecars to hybrids.
After heading the design group at the car company Dr. Ing hc F. Porsche, where he developed such notable products as the Porsche Type 804 Formula 1 racecar and the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS, Butzi Porsche left in 1972 to establish Porsche Design in Stuttgart. That firm, which moved in 1974 to Zell am See in Austria, has since produced a wide variety of non-automotive products, including watches, eyewear and writing instruments.
IButzi Porsche's personal motto, according to the company, was "Good design should be honest."