Porsche’s Ferrari Opponent Might Develop Flat-8 Engine

by Ionut Dragomir

As we reported yesterday, Porsche targets ferrari buyers with its 959 Successor while Porsche CEO Matthias Müller has confirmed in an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt, that the company indeed has plans to build a new supercar to be placed between the 911 and the 918.

The Porsche CEO, Matthias Müller stated at that time: “It always irritated me that the (most expensive) 911 tops out at 250,000 euros ($360,000) and then the 918 continues starting at 750,000 euros ($1,080,000). In between, Ferrari cavorts around relatively comfortably and without any competition. That is where we need to be. There is still space for a larger sports car, one like the 959 that we built in the 1980s.”

Well, during the unveiling of the new Porsche 911/991, Wolfgang Hatz revealed that a flat-eight boxer engine is being considered for the future Ferrari rival.

This flat-eight isn’t destined to replace the turbocharged flat-six in the “mean” versions of the 911, but instead, the powerplant has a higher purpose – to be the power Porsche’s potential supercar. Considering Porsche’s major competitor, Ferrari, currently dominates the market in this price segment with its V8-powered sportscars, moving to a flat-8 would be the next logical step. Beside this, moving to a larger engine would also differentiate the new model from the new 911 and next-generation Cayman range.

Considering that the company has already created a turbocharged flat-four engine that will be dropped into a future entry level roadster, the new flat-8 engine shouldn’t be a problem for Porsche. In addition, this engine is modular, so it can be extended into the next-generation flat-6 and flat-8.

The CEO also said that a development of the Carrera GT’s ultra-compact transmission could be used for the new model. Such a transmission would free-up space for the use of the longer eight-cylinder engine.

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

As a reminder, the german car maker also has a history with the flat-8 engine, considering that back in the late 1960’s, Porsche built an air-cooled 1.5L flat-8 for Formula One that extended to a 3.0 L version for the Porsche 908 in 1968. That engine was able to pump out 300 HP back then, making a competitor for the 458 Italia’s 570 HP V8 an attainable goal.

Stay tuned for more details.

Note: The image above is a rendering of what AutoCar think this new supercar will be, the 2013 Porsche 961.
Source: AutoCar

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