Are You Ready For: A Porsche Flat-Eight?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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.”

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Morea Morea on Aug 30, 2011

    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.

    • See 4 previous
    • Morea Morea on Aug 31, 2011

      @Vega 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!

  • Jellodyne Jellodyne on Aug 30, 2011

    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.

    • See 3 previous
    • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Aug 31, 2011

      @Robert Schwartz It was still gorgeous. And it was a Ferrari. Berlinetta Boxer is what it was called. Maybe boxer is an Italian word that means "180 degree V12 with 6 crank pins". The Porsche will be lumpy.

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