This is the last of the great Porsche atmospheric engines. We’ve been waiting to say that about one of Porsche’s GT car engines for years. But the damned things just won’t die. That’s despite the imposition of the new WLTP emissions regime that initially threatened to finally kill off the GT3’s screamer.
After all, WLTP comes with stricter regs for petrol engine particulate emissions which in practice entail the fitting of a new filter arrangement to exhaust systems. Not a huge problem for forced induction engines. Just dial up the boost a bit But surely more problematic for naturally aspirated lumps that rely on free flowing gases into and out of the engine. And yet here we are with the Speedster, complete with a pair of particulate filters and – wait for it – actually more power than the GT3 on which its engine is based.
OK, it’s only 10bhp up and still a little less than the latest GT3 RS. But the RS has the benefit of a spot of ram effect on the induction side, something the Speedster omits. Safe to say, anyway, the particulate filter hasn’t turned out to be such a disaster after all. Not from a performance perspective, at least The impact it’ll have on the GT engine’s soundtrack, on the other hand, remains to be seen.
Of course, given that GT-style 992 mules have been spatted testing accompanied by the unmistakable wail of an atmospheric engine for some time now, Porsche’s commitment to the engine type has been pretty clear. In truth, Porsche reps have been nothing if not vocal about their intention to stick with what they call the more emotional atmo’ engine if humanly possible. But the Speedster is still the first absolutely official and specific confirmation that not only can natural aspiration survive WLTP, it can thrive.
Questions, however, remain. What of the specification of the long-awaited second batch of 991.2 GT RS? Will they get the Speedster’s engine spec complete with those sexy sounding independent throttle bodies? Same question for the 992 GT cars, really. And what of the imminent 718 GT4 and Spyder twins? Answer have we none, unfortunately, except to say the death of the naturally aspirated Porsche flat six has been greatly exaggerated in the past. So, don’t panic. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
In fact, if we had to put money on it, we’d bet Porsche is already working on a hybrid petrol-electric atmospheric GT3 with a powertrain awfully reminiscent of the 918 Spyder. It won’t be ready for the first generation 992 GT3, you understand. But the one after that? Watch this space, folks.