Porsche plots mid-en­gined 911

Auto Car (UK) - - GENEVA MOTOR SHOW -

PORSCHE AP­PEARS SET to make the big­gest con­cep­tual change to the de­sign of the 53-year-old 911 by putting a mid-en­gined ver­sion on sale for the first time.

An­dreas Pre­uninger, Porsche Mo­tor­sport’s man­ager of high­per­for­mance cars, said: “There is noth­ing com­ing soon but in the mid-term don’t rule it out. I think adding some ex­cite­ment to the car in this way wouldn’t be bad.”

Vice pres­i­dent of Porsche Mo­tor­sport, Frank Wal­liser, added that there was sig­nif­i­cant cus­tomer in­ter­est in a mid-en­gined 911. Porsche Mo­tor­sport has a tra­di­tion of lis­ten­ing to cus­tomer feed­back, which is one rea­son why a man­ual gear­box is now once more avail­able on the lat­est GT3, shown at Geneva.

A mid-en­gined 911 would be rel­a­tively easy for Porsche to pro­duce. The car al­ready ex­ists in RSR rac­ing form, and it proved its po­ten­tial by com­ing sec­ond at the Day­tona 24 Hours on its first out­ing. There would be no is­sue with rear seats be­cause GT 911s have al­ways been ho­molo­gated as two-seaters, and now that Porsche has just one mo­tor­sport en­gine, which is used in ev­ery­thing from the stan­dard road-go­ing GT3 to the mid-en­gined RSR racer, engi­neer­ing the car should be rel­a­tively sim­ple.

The nor­mally as­pi­rated 4.0-litre en­gine al­ready pro­duces 493bhp and revs to 9000rpm,but it has scope for ad­di­tional de­vel­op­ment. Wal­liser re­vealed that the most that has been seen so far is 608bhp, with the en­gine “scream­ing on the bench”.

It is not yet clear what a mid-en­gined 911 would be called. It could adopt the RSR badge of its rac­ing coun­ter­part, use an ex­ist­ing road car name or have an all-new des­ig­na­tion. What is clear is that Porsche doesn’t be­lieve the car would be hereti­cal to the 911 brand. When asked if Porsche could call such a car a 911, Wal­liser said: “We al­ready do.”

GT3’S en­gine would be suit­able for a mid­mounted ap­pli­ca­tion

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