Wild 16-Cylinder Boxer Engine: Unheard Of!
Porsche’s iconoclastic 917 race autos weren’t manufactured suddenly; the iconic German manufacturer had to endure extensive development and prototype testing, ultimately developing a revolutionary 16-cylinder motor.
During the initial years of the 1970s, Porsche underwent a considerable struggle in the Can-Am competition, in which McLaren typically stood conqueror despite the success of the 917 vehicle of Porsche in the marathon Projects.
In the Can-Am series, the 917/10 initially encountered a lack of power in comparison to V8 driven adversaries, so Porsche sought out approaches for dealing with potency issues by producing a 16 cylinder engine with greater than 800 horsepower. Being employed as a test vehicle, the 917 PA Spyder embarked on the journey boasting this extraordinary motor contrived by the renowned Hans Mezger directed by Ferdinand Piech.
Drawing influence from the 912’s 12-cylinder architecture, Porsche introduced a 16-cylinder engine with adaptable displacement ranging from 6.0 all the way to 7.2 liters. The greatest 7.2-liter form of this powerplant offered plus substantial outputs topping out at an awesome 880 horsepower – more than double the standard 911’s ratings.
The flat-16 combustion engine featured canted intake valves and a Bosch fuel injection system. In total, only four full engines had been built, while there was potential for parts of up to ten more to be made. Although it boasted plenty of power, the flat-16 wasn’t able to stack up against turbocharged autos, so it was eventually decided to implement boost.
The judgement turned out to be the correct one, as subsequent turbocharged Porsche cars constructed from that project ended up achieving immense glory. In fact, they were the strongest race vehicles available at the time. Nowadays, only a 16-cylinder prototype is still in the ownership of the German car company.
Porsche eventually concluded on the incorporation of a turbocharged 12-cylinder motor, leading to its ground-breaking 917/30 holding reign over the entire series with more than 1,100 hp. It was not only the most powerful competition auto of its generation (and is currently one of the priciest Porsches) but also achieved a maximum speed of 221 mph while at Talladega Superspeedway. Much like the first R23 Nissan Skyline GT-R, the wild success of the 917/30 also caused rule changes and fuel use regulations.
It was not exclusively unordinary for Porsche to design a boxer engine. In the past, the 918 Spyder’s replacement was meant to contain a 750-hp flat-eight, though it did get incorporated into a fantasy concept, but not commercialized. Contemplate what the raceway would be resounding like today if the company had deployed all its prospects for a flat opposed motor.