Quote Of The Weekend: Audi By Porsche Edition
Porsche’s greatest strength may well be that, in this era of automotive homogenization, it maintains its unique technical traditions. Until Subaru brought out a rarely-optioned 3.6 unit to market, Porsche was the only automaker who offered a flat-six engine, a powerplant that was both unique and traditional. But now, it seems that Porsche may have to give up its unique engines in the name of corporate strategy and its goal of remaining the world’s most profitable automaker [sub]. When asked by EVO magazine if, in the future, Audis could use Porsche’s brand-defining boxer-six engine, Porsche’s R&D boss Wolfgang Dürheimer responded
I think so, especially for the V8 side, but I can also see some applications for the Porsche flat-six and future flat-four engines across the VW group. I think it cannot hurt Audi to have a Porsche powerplant in its cars.
Yes, but what about Porsche? We’d heard a version of this rumor before, but this latest revelation seems to indicate that plans to share Porsche’s greasy bits are moving forward. Given that we’re moving towards the last hurrah of the internal-cumbustion engine, we’d hope that Porsche would hold onto its tradition of unique engines a bit longer. Apparently not.
What about the BMW 6-cylinder?
"I think so, especially for the V8 side" what utter BS. What I've seen in the last few weeks has been Porsche planning to use an Audi V-6 as a hybrid alternative to the V-8 in the Panamera, just like VW is doing with the Touareg. I think the quote was meant to be misleading, and we'll see a lot more Audi in Porsche drivetrains instead. I'll need to be convinced that's a bad thing by the way. I might not be a fan of AWD "performance" cars in general, but am definitely an admirer of the higher end VAG drivetrains. Flat 6's taken past the point of reliable performance really don't factor into that.
The vast majority of auto buyers could care less about things like unique engines. They care how the vehicle makes them look and feel. Only a very small number of lunatic fringe enthusiasts get all hot and bothered about the provenance of an engine, transmission or platform.
Smart auto makers ignore the enthusiast press/blog world.
Wait... why is this a problem? This article is written as if Porsche had decided to stop building their traditional flat-sixes. But the point is only that they'll let another carmaker use them. Why is that lamentable?