Porsche rules out atmospheric flat six for non-GT 992 911S

The new 4.0 from the GT4 isn’t heading for the 911

Bad news for fans of naturally aspirated engines in 911s. Porsche has confirmed that the 4.0-litre atmospheric flat six in the new 718 GT4 and Spyder models will not be making its way into the 911. Meanwhile, expectations of a hybrid model in the next revision of the 911 have been lowered.

The new 4.0 from the GT4 isn’t heading for the 911

The new 4.0 from the GT4 isn’t heading for the 911

Following the launch of the GT4 and Spyder, the new 4.0-litre naturally aspirated engine looked like a prime candidate to augment the latest 911 range. It was thought the engine would be a good fit for a new 911 T model based on the Type-992, partly because its natural aspiration suits the 911 T’s purist market positioning and also because none other than ‘Mr GT3’, Andreas Preuninger, indicated Porsche had further plans for the engine beyond the new 718 twins.

However, head of the 911 and 718 product lines Frank Walliser has comprehensively imploded the idea. Speaking to US magazine Road & Track, Walliser said that the engine, which is actually a derivation of the 3.0-litre turbo unit in the 911 Carrera models, is nevertheless expressly engineered for mid-engine installation.

Walliser says the 4.0 technically could go into the 911 with a lot of engineering effort, but it would be difficult and expensive. “It’s a lot of changes. The throttle is in the wrong direction, the water connection is in the wrong direction,” Walliser says.

If this news will disappoint the last few naturally aspirated diehards, it also implies that the 718 could become the non-GT tool of choice for purists. Walliser confirmed that the 4.0 engine is being considered for further 718 variants, with both the GT4 RS and a sub-GT model being the most likely candidates. If the latter model materialises, it will mean that the only non-GT Porsche with a naturally aspirated engine is a 718 and not a 911. Fans of atmospheric engines in 911s will thus have no option but to choose from among the upcoming GT car variants of the 992.

In other news, Road & Track says Walliser tempered expectations of a hybrid 911 joining the range when the current Type-992 model is facelifted in a few years’ time, despite the fact that the 992’s eight-speed PDK gearbox is specifically designed to incorporate an electric motor. The problem reportedly involves both weight and packaging. However, Walliser did not explicitly rule out a hybrid 992, so it’s unclear whether a final decision has yet been made.

Boo-hoo. Looks like there’s no chance of a non-GT, normally aspirated 911 any time soon. And even the much rumoured hybrid 911 has a question mark hanging over it.

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