An eight-cylinder boxer for future Porsche supercar?
Porsche is apparently working on a new-generation engine that will allow the company to break through the displacement limitation of the company’s six-cylinder power plant.
Apparently, the theoretical limit of the long-standing flat-six is 4,2 litres, at which point the internals become too heavy, resulting in balance problems.
But after the recent thermal problems experienced by the highly-strung 3,8-litre flat-six engine in the GT3, word has it that Porsche is investigating the development of an eight-cylinder engine.
The switch would allow an instant bump up in capacity to 4,0 litres, which should reduce the constraints that Porsche’s engineers have been hampered with recently, and allow them to push performance higher.
This new engine could be the first to be deployed in a brand new Porsche platform with the objective of taking the fight to Ferrari’s V8 power vehicles. The current estimates are that, aided with up to four turbochargers, the eight-cylinder engine could produce around 450 kW of power and 550 Nm of torque, ensuring that Zuffenhausen’s next generation supercar would be very competitive.
While the larger displacement engine will not be dropped into the ‘entry-level’ Boxster and Cayman, there are plans to in introduce a new four-cylinder engine in the interests of fuel efficiency and reduced weight. With the assistance of turbocharging, the 2,0-litre unit would still be able to produce between 210 and 260 kW, depending on the state of tune.
Porsche’s mooted eight-cylinder supercar is only expected to go on sale in 2017, heralding a new generation of Porsche’s entire sports car range, including the turbocharged Boxster and Cayman. Meanwhile, rumours of a smaller, more affordable roadster persist, suggesting that Porsche’s appetite for model expansion continues unabated.