Sneak Peek: Porsche’s New Turbo Engines
The industry push towards smaller displacement turbo engines is in full-swing. Across every make and model, large displacement naturally aspirated engines are being replaced by smaller displacement turbo engines in the name of improved fuel economy and reduced emissions. We showed you the why in our engine downsizing article. Companies that had previously ridiculed turbo engines in the 90’s have completely changed course with the prime examples being BMW, Honda, and Ferrari.
Each of those companies was known for their exotic and high revving naturally aspirated engines. Now BMW doesn’t have a single naturally aspirated engine in its lineup that I can think of. The last hurrahs of the high revving V8 and V10 in the M3 and M5 have been kicked out from under the bonnet and replaced with turbo inline-6 and V8 engines producing mountains more torque and heaps more power while getting better fuel economy. The main downside is the lack of exhaust note, but BMW tried to make up for that by plumbing fake exhaust noises through the stereo system. Ford does this on the Ecoboost Mustang too. Honda’s new Civic Type-R is getting a 2.0L turbo engine because there’s no way for a 2.0L NA engine to compete with the boosted hot hatches in the form of the VW Golf and Ford Focus. Ferrari went to a downsized twin-turbo V8 in their new 488 and it decimates the older naturally aspirated 458 in all performance criteria.
Porsche has always had feet in both camps of high revving NA engines and high power turbo engines. The heavy hitter boosted engines had previously been reserved for the 911 Turbo and GT2. As we already mentioned, emissions are driving the change to boosted engines in the 911 and Boxster/Cayman platform. However, let’s face it, Porsche was getting embarrassed by their Audi cousins. A new Audi S3 is the equal to the naturally aspirated 911 Carrera in 0-60 while having two extra doors and leaving the owner with about an extra $30k in the trunk. With a quick reflash in the S3, the old 911 Carrera is seeing S3 taillights. That is a pretty embarrassing scenario for Porsche, no?