With a growing lineup of performance automobiles, you can bet that at any moment, the powertrain engineers at Porsche are working on some new engine to motivate them. But this project has our interest piqued more than usual.
According to Auto Motor und Sport, in a report cited by Motor1.com, Porsche is working on some sort of new high-performance engine. It isn’t saying what it’s for, but the people working on it may give us a clue.
Apparently this mysterious new engine is being developed by the same engineers who worked on Porsche’s LMP1 program, which the automaker shut down recently.
“Like other manufacturers, after the invitation from the FIA, we are participating in discussions about the future of F1 for power units,” Porsche’s R&D chief Michael Steiner told Auto Motor und Sport. “Our team in Weissach is not working on an F1 engine at the moment but on a highly efficient engine from, but we have not decided what we will do with this engine.”
This is the first confirmation we’ve seen in some time that Porsche is even considering participating in grand prix racing, after years upon years of rumors that its parent Volkswagen Group was weighing a potential F1 program. Aston Martin and Cosworth have also reportedly taken part in the powertrain strategy sessions Steiner mentions, and given the trickle of information, we’d bet there’ve been others involved as well. Toyota, Ford, BMW, and PSA have all supplied engines to Formula One in recent history but don’t currently, while major automakers like Hyundai, General Motors, and Mazda have not – nor have any of the Chinese automakers eager to break out of their domestic market, for that matter, but we’re just spit-balling here.
Ultimately Porsche could be working with an eye towards F1, but divert the engine program towards something else – like a successor, for example, to the 918 Spyder. After all, the Carrera GT that preceded it essentially grew out of an aborted LMP1 program. But with Porsche’s expertise being applied all across the VW group, there’s no telling where this secretive engine could end up being used.