Porsche Draws Power From Twin-Turbo Flat-Eight.

Fitting a Monster Mill To New Carrera GT/918 Spyder

The famed marque of Porsche almost unveiled a sports car, quipped with an impressive 5.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-eight engine, despite their volition to usually employ six-cylinder engines in the majority of their upper-tier vehicles. Curiously, the same project that ended up producing the four-cylinder 718 Cayman eventually led to this significant alternative.

The enigmatic nature of the flat-eight engine unraveled when The Intercooler conversed with Marcos Marques, Porsche’s international e-fuel specialist. Porsche continues to research and invest in e-fuels as traditional gasoline engines face imminent limitations, though that is a tale for a different time. This narrative is focusing on the striking flat-eight motor producing an incredible 750 horsepower.

When asked about the four-cylinder engine found in the Cayman, Marques revealed that it was “originally part of a larger project, one that would have made more sense of the flat-four engine.” He went on to explain that this project involved another car that never saw the light of day.

Marques was pressed for more information. “Well, to be honest, you only ever got to see the first part of this story,” he said. “We had another engine, with the same design but larger, that was a lot more interesting. It had eight cylinders, two turbos and was running in a Cayman chassis at one point with a whopping 750 bhp, 1,000 Nm [738 lb-ft of torque], and a 9,000-rpm red line. It was a real beast and sounded incredible, obviously. But that engine in the Cayman chassis with a manual gearbox was a wild ride too.”

Considering that the peak vehicle in the Cayman range provides 493hp – the distinction of which goes to the highly priced $160,700 GT4 RS – and can charge to 60mph within 3.2 seconds, it’s hard to conjure up what an 8-cylinder motor producing a colossal 750hp might be capable of achieving in the same car.

However, the 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 had once been planned to power a supercar that would supersede both the Carrera GT and 918 Spyder. Reports revealed that a prototype of this vehicle had endured many testdrives on the roads near Weissach for longer than a year. But it never gained an identity. Suddenly, the executives at the highest level of the company concluded that the timing was not suitable enough to take the eight-cylinder sports car into production, and its plans then became extinct.

Recently in 2016, speculation was prevalent of a Porsche 960 created with a flat-eight quad-turbo powertrain to confront the Ferrari 488; however, it never had an opportunity to be unveiled.

Marques revealed that he had been involved in a project to create a quad-turbo version of the 991-gen 911. However, it was determined that fitting four small turbos in the rear of the car would be too difficult relative to two larger ones. “We had the sequential four turbo technology already developed from many years earlier – from before the Veyron – and Bugatti ended up using this technology on the Veyron itself,” he said.

A subsequent-instar Audi R8 featuring a five-cylinder engine, along with a V10-possessed Volkswagen Golf 5, were two extra motor projects of which Marques had familiarity but ended up not being produced.

As Porsche’s electrification efforts become more successful, the amount of time for when a 8-cylinder Cayman or another Porsche vehicle was thought to be reasonable has likely passed. Despite that, there are always individuals who’re looking to insert a large V8 into something like a Cayman.


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