Four-cylinder hybrid Porsche 911 being tested – report

A unique Porsche 911 – famous for its ‘flat-six’ engine – is reportedly being tested with the V4 engine and hybrid system from a Le Mans-winning racer.

The Porsche 911 ST.

German car-maker Porsche is reportedly testing a version of its 911 sports car with a hybrid four-cylinder engine – configured in a 90-degree V-pattern – though it’s not clear whether the unique power plant will end up in a production 911.

As reported by CarBuzz, a source close to Porsche told the publication the prototype vehicle utilises a 911 chassis because of packaging requirements for the V4 engine and its hybrid-related ancillaries – such as batteries and electric motors.

The source was unable to confirm whether the powertrain was being tested for motorsport activities or a future production model – such as a 911, Cayman, or Boxster – or if Porsche has plans to revive the 912 badge, which was an early 911 powered by a four-cylinder engine.

According to the publication, the engine could be closely related to the 373kW 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder which was used in the Porsche 919 race car – which won three World Endurance Championships and 17 races in the category between 2014 and 2017, which included three straight 24 Hours of Le Mans victories.

The Porsche 919 Hybrid, winning at Le Mans in 2015

While the Porsche 919 also featured a hybrid system – with two electric motors producing 300kW for a combined output of 671kW – the race car was effectively built around its engine and electrical components, creating a packaging problem if the same setup was used in a road car. 

It’s not the first time Porsche has tested a motorsports-derived engine in a road car.

In the 1980s, a then-current Porsche 911 was fitted with a 1.5-litre turbocharged V6 engine which was later used in McLaren’s Formula One cars to win three championships – with the engine and car combination later recreated by Lanzante. 

The Porsche 919 Hybrid’s 2.0-litre turbocharged V4 engine

However, CarBuzz reports there’s no sign at this stage the Porsche 911 will be sold as a production car with a V4 engine – more likely retaining the ‘flat-six’ engine it has had since the model’s inception.

It is no secret that Porsche has been testing a six-cylinder hybrid version of the 911, due to be sold in showrooms overseas in 2025 or 2026.

Jordan Mulach

Jordan Mulach is Canberra/Ngunnawal born, currently residing in Brisbane/Turrbal. Joining the Drive team in 2022, Jordan has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Jordan is a self-described iRacing addict and can be found on weekends either behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or swearing at his ZH Fairlane.

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