The man responsible for Porsche’s 911 and 718 model ranges says upcoming emissions regulations in Europe will (somewhat surprisingly) result in the return of “bigger displacement” engines.

Frank-Steffen Walliser, vice-president for the Porsche 911 and 718 model lines, told Australian media during the presentation of the new 911 Targa that Euro 7 regulations scheduled to come into effect in 2026 would effectively put a limit on relative power per litre.

“In 2026, the next wave of regulations will come with EU7. This will be the worldwide toughest regulations considering emissions, especially in the spread between real driving emissions and what we see on the test benches,” Walliser said, according to motoring.com.au.

“We will see a big change because it means – for everybody – new engines and we will see bigger displacements coming back again. I expect 20 percent more displacement on average for these EU7-capable engines. A lot of manufacturers will jump from four to six, from six to eight [cylinders],” he revealed.

Walliser suggested the upcoming regulations were “counterproductive”.

“The regulations are completely counterproductive to CO2 regulations, so this will go up. You cannot fulfil all the standards without spending fuel. It sounds crazy but it’s a technical fact at the moment.

“This new regulation is really difficult to fulfil because we will have different cold-start emissions and bigger catalytic converters. When I’m talking bigger, I’m talking a factor of three to four times more, so there will be a small chemical industrial factory in the car to really control this.

“This means all-new engines and especially for the 911 this gets really, really difficult. But we will never give up. Whatever it takes, we will do it. We want to keep six cylinders, for sure, but we will have to overwork it. We will have to make a new engine. That’s the fact. Again.”

Walliser also conceded the Zuffenhausen-based firm would likely have to move away from its naturally aspirated engines over the next decade or so.

“At the moment, we only see a turbo solution. Naturally aspirated, not really.

“There will come a day, within the next 10 years, when we have to say ‘now this is the last of its kind’.”