Among Porsche’s upcoming model line-up, which includes a turbocharged four-cylinder Boxster, will be a brand-new eight-cylinder supercar called 988 that will primarily be designed to take the fight to Ferrari’s 458.
Apparently, the Stuttgart-based manufacturer’s engineers have been concerned that the marque’s legendary flat-six powerplants cannot compete with the Prancing Horse’s manic V8s. The new supercar, which is suspected of using the internal development code of “988,” will of course be the recipient of this new eight-cylinder motor that’s in the pipeline.
Not much else is known about the 988, though it’s believed that it’ll borrow heavily from the company’s current range-topper – the 918 hypercar. Obviously, the rear styling will be subject to how the flat-eight engine sits.
With recent engine fires that caused production of the 3,8-litre 911 GT3 to momentarily halt, it’s been told to Autocar by company insiders that the horizontally-opposed engine is very close to the end of its life, in terms of engine size, because the weight of internal components becomes too great for ideal balance. The option of a flat-eight will offer Porsche some leeway to extract more power without the engine operating on its absolute limit.
It’s rumoured that a prototype motor with four turbochargers is being tested, with an output of around 450 kW…
Speaking of new engines, the company’s engineers are also hard at work developing a new family of motors to suit upcoming models, such as the new Boxster/Cayman. Porsche’s entry-level sportscar will soon boast a turbocharged 2,0-litre flat-four that produces in the region of 200 kW, while faster variants will make use of a 260 kW version.