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Dr Porsche believed that problems with bridges could be overcome if tanks were equipped to wade through rivers but he was also keen to test many other concepts in his new design.
One example was the use of longitudinal torsion bar suspension, another the apparent advantages of petrol/electric drive systems.
|The nature of the suspension may be seen in the diagram. The transmission was altogether more complicated. It comprised a pair of Porsche Type 101/1 engines of V10 configuration, each rated at 320hp. These engines each drove an independent generator which, in turn supplied current to an electric motor. The electric motors, in their turn, produced power to drive the tank and steering was achieved by varying the speed of each motor through a rheostat.|
|In theory the concept of petrol, or diesel/electric transmission is ideal, since it gives infinitely variable speed options for each track, without the need to change gear, but it also comes with a severe weight penalty. Armour thickness of VK4501(P) was not appreciably greater than VK3601(H), except at the sides, but the former was a good deal longer to accommodate the extra equipment and this would have accounted, to a large extent, for the increased weight - in its final form VK4501(P) tipped the scales at 57 tons.|
|At first no thought was given to the type of gun required for the new Porsche tank but in February 1941 Krupp put forward the idea of using their 88mm L/56 weapon.|
|Whether the basic shape of the hull had been designed at this point is not clear but, as the drawings show, it was extended above the tracks to provide space for a larger turret ring, which would accept a larger turret and, by definition, accommodate a bigger gun. It would appear, however, that the Krupp gun could not meet the original specification to penetrate 100mm of armour at 1,500 metres.||
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