By on August 30, 2011

Well, are ya… punk? As part of its “why does Ferrari get all of the €250,000-€750,000 fun” fit of pique, Porsche says its considering a flat-eight engined beast to take on the Italian foe. Autocar reports that

Porsche engineers have long been frustrated by the fact that the company’s iconic flat-six engine cannot be extended much beyond 4.0-litres. It’s also felt that in the Ferrari-dominated market, eight cylinders are a pre-requisite.

Moving to a larger engine would also differentiate the new model from the new 911 and next-generation Cayman range. It’s thought that the creation of such an engine has been made easier by the engineering working currently being done on the new turbocharged flat-four engine, which will be offered in Porsche’s planned entry-level roadster. This all-new motor is thought to be modular, allowing it to be extended into the next-generation flat-6 and a flat-8.

Porsche’s head of R&D Wolfgang Hatz says a flat-eight evolution of the forthcoming flat-four could be matched to “the Carrera GT’s ultra-compact transmission” for the forthcoming Ferrari-fighter. There’s just one problem…

We could develop it, of course. One of the key issues is where we put the differential, but it is a possibility

Details! The key issue is that Porsche doesn’t have a “different model” positioned in $4k increments from $200k and up. As long as you’re addressing the important issue, these little technical details will work themselves out in deference to Porsche’s “fundamental economic sense.”

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12 Comments on “Are You Ready For: A Porsche Flat-Eight?...”

  • avatar

    I’d love an eight cylinder Porsche — provided the engine was up front, not out back. Wait, that’s a Panamera. A flat eight would be a more expensive, harder to service Subaru. I’m guessing a Panamera Coupe is in the works.

  • avatar

    Another example of Porsche being hamstrung by the legacy of a rear engined car: you can’t hang a flat eight out beyond that rear axle without (even more) serious packaging and handling problems. Four was OK, six was pushing it, eight was out of the question.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Depends on how you do it. Interweaving two flat-4s into a x8 would keep the length down.

      • 0 avatar

        Yes, or you could do it in the style of the 1966 BRM Type 75 Formula 1 engine with the H16 layout but as an H8, however, the packaging of the intake and exhaust in the ‘trunk’ of a 911 would be a nightmare for either configuration.

      • 0 avatar

        Or interweave 3 flat-4s and call it an homage to the Curtiss Wright Duplex Cyclone…..
        Germans love complexity – the option of the turbo compound version is just the ticket.


        edit – equally awesome/stupid would be two flat-4s with the transmission between them. A great compromise between the rear engine and the mid engine configurations. You could put it a car called the 99181….

    • 0 avatar

      I think they are talking about mid-engined…

      • 0 avatar

        Yes they are talking mid-engined, we are just being snarky about Porsche’s slavish devotion to the 911 platform.

        They had their chance with the 914 to make their move to mid-engined but they flubbed it out of devotion to the 911. (Remember the one-year-only 912E, the 914 flat 4 in the 911 chassis?)

        BTW, the first video is great: ahh, the good old days of Porsche prototype racing!

  • avatar

    8? Keep ’em coming. Ferrari uses 12. Let’s see how modular that engine really is. This will need to be a new mid-engined design.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, this. 12 cylinders is the gold standard. Anything less is… less. And there’s a seriously iconic historical precedent for a mid-engined flat-12 Porsche, and Porsche’s current management is totally cynical enough to use the ‘917’ name on what would surely be an overweight over-luxed glutton of a road car.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Schwartz

      Let us not forget the Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer which was a flat 12 mid engine car, and gorgeous. The Porsche will be frumpy.

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