Worried about the potential demise of Porsche’s sweet-sounding naturally aspirated engine? Don’t be, it’s not going anywhere. The flat-six inside the 911 GT3 RS will stick around for an undisclosed amount of time as hinted by Thomas Mader, Project Manager GT Road Car Engines. In an interview with Australian magazine Motor, he revealed “there will be a future” for the atmospheric engine.
He went on to mention that there’s still room for further developments to drive down fuel consumption and as such avoid having to resort to forced induction like the rumor mill has been indicating. When asked whether the latest 4.0-liter would also be the last, his response was: “I don’t think so.” Bear in mind the engine is expected to find its way in three additional models: the 718 Boxster Spyder, the Cayman GT4, and the race-spec Cayman GT4 Clubsport spotted last week at Monza.
But that wasn’t the most interesting part of the interview as Mader also spoke briefly about improvements that could be made in other areas not strictly related to fuel efficiency. He admitted that it’s technically possible to bump displacement of the engine beyond its current 4.0-liter capacity, but cautioned the “engine designers would have to look at that.” In other words, while it might be doable, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will actually happen.
And now for the best part – the redline. The existing flat-six at the heart of the 911 GT3 RS screams all the way up to 9,000 rpm, but that could change at some point in the future considering Mader said it would be possible to have a higher redline. He pointed out the engine inside the road-going model is almost the same as the ones found in mid-engined 911 RSR, the 911 GT3 Cup, and the 911 GT3 R race cars. In the RSR, the engine can rev up to 9,500 rpm.
However, don’t get your hopes up too high just yet considering Porsche’s man in charge of engines for the GT road cars said that while it’s technically possible, it would require some significant changes to the 911 GT3 RS. There’s also the issue of durability as it is one thing to develop an engine for a race car and another for a road-legal model.
Should there be a road-going 911 with a redline of 9,500 rpm, it would end up being one of the highest-revving production cars ever made, eclipsing even the 9,150 rpm of the mighty 918 Spyder and the 9,250 rpm of the LaFerrari. It would match the redline of the original Honda S500 from 1963, but still less than the 10,500 rpm of the crazy Ariel Atom 500 powered by a pair of Hayabusa engines forming a V8.
On a related note, Mader revealed that the six-speed manual gearbox inside the regular 911 GT3 could be installed in the hardcore version, although that doesn’t automatically mean Porsche will do it.