Porsche 911 Family Will Go Turbo; Sub-918 Model Also Planned
With the launch of the 911 GT3 RS and its all-new powerplant on the way, Porsche has also let it slip that the entire 911 range is actually heading toward a major transformation, something that will bring major improvements in terms of both performance and fuel consumption. Speaking with Autocar, Porsche’s head of R&D, Wolfgang Hatz, admitted once again that the flat-six in the upcoming GT3 RS is actually part of an all new engine family which will eventually find its way under the trunk of every 911 model in the future – in turbocharged guise.
In case that wasn’t obvious enough, it seems that apart from the GT3 and GT3 RS variants, each and every 911 model will be turbocharged in a few years, leading to confusion as to why the 911 Turbo is still named that way. When the new flat-six starts rolling out across the range, it will eventually end half a century of naturally-aspirated Boxer engines.
The long-rumored turbocharged flat-four engine is also still coming, with Hatz confirming that it will power the facelifted Boxster and Cayman from early 2016. What he didn’t confirm was a return of the 912 nameplate, which would essentially be a four-cylinder entry-level 911. Another model that was long-rumored and then somehow went off the radar is the so-called "project 988," which the Porsche R&D boss said that it may come by the end of the decade "at the latest," powered by an all-new V-8 engine that the automaker is currently developing for the third generation of the Cayenne and the second generation of the Panamera.
Click past the jump to learn what other surprises Porsche is preparing for the future.
Why it matters
With Porsche purist numbers getting thinner and thinner, the switch from naturally-aspirated 911 models to all of them featuring turbochargers (apart from the hardcore GT3 and GT3 RS models) may not be such an abrupt move. Sure, the throttle response difference between a naturally-aspirated, high-revving engine and a turbocharged one is still pretty major, despite the technology evolving immensely in recent years. Porsche already has a huge history with turbocharged Boxer engines and the 911 Turbo is almost lag-free thanks to its unique Variable Nozzle Turbochargers (VNT), so it is expected that the rest of the 911 lineup will probably get something similar, if not going for electric-assisted compressors like Audi. In other words, I’m all for it as long as Porsche does it properly – something which can certainly be said about the 911 Turbo and Turbo S.