That might not be a bad idea after all

The automotive world is on the brink of losing two elements that turned so many people into car nuts and kept them there: the manual transmission and the aspirated engine.

We live in the era of the turbo mill. Naturally-aspirated engines are rare birds these days, and in an ironical twist of fate, some carmakers are offering manual gearboxes as optional features (some at no cost, like Porsche does for the current 911). And speaking of Porsche, hear this out: the sports car manufacturer actually believes naturally-aspirated engines can be saved by the electric motor.

Porsche knows a thing or two about naturally-aspirated engines

Porsche Looks to Save Naturally Aspirated Engines With Electric Motors Exterior Wallpaper quality
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BMW Blog reports that Frank-Stefan Walliser, Porsche VP for Powertrain Development, believes that the electric motor can keep the naturally-aspirated engine alive.

“Low-rev electric motor torque and a high-rev normally aspirated engine would fit perfectly together. It could help a normally aspirated engine to survive.”
Porsche Looks to Save Naturally Aspirated Engines With Electric Motors
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This is very interesting information coming from Porsche, who has a long history of using naturally-aspirated engines and still favors that practice to this day - think of the 5.7-liter V-10 inside the Carrera GT, the 4.6-liter V-8 aided by two e-motors in the 918 Spyder, the 4.0-liter flat-six in the 991 911 GT3 RS, or the 4.0-liter flat-six Porsche dumped inside the Cayman GTS/GT4.

2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 specs
Engine 4.0-Liter Flat-Six Engine
Horsepower 414 HP @ 7,600 RPM
Torque 309 LB-FT @ 5,000 - 6,800 RPM
Top Speed 188 mph
0 to 60 mph 4.2 seconds

But all these cars (except the Carrera GT and the 918 which are aimed at the One Percent) have become a thing of eccentricity in the sense that they’re bought and driven by those who still appreciate a naturally-aspirated engine (and possess a fat bank account, too), and that sort of petrolhead doesn’t come in large numbers these days.

Porsche Looks to Save Naturally Aspirated Engines With Electric Motors
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Be it as it may, but given Porsche’s willingness to save the n/a engine through electrification, we’re expecting to see a fair share of hybrids coming from Weissach over the next years. Not necessarily the kind that saves fuel, but the type that adds extra goosebumps on the driver’s skin.

And against such a contraption we won’t complain. Ever.

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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