Is Porsche planning on making an F1-powered hypercar?
Many high-ranking supercar makers are looking at alternative fuel methods for their next-gen models, with electrification being the popular choice, followed by hybridisation. Now, Porsche wants a piece of the action.
According to high-level sources at Porsche’s technical centre in Weissach, confirmation has come through that a 918 Spyder successor may be given the go-ahead, depending on a decision which will be made by Porsche’s board members on whether they go full EV or go hybrid.
The EV option is pretty simple to explain as it’ll be another electric hypercar, most likely using tech from Rimac. Using tech from Rimac makes sense, considering that Porsche owns 15.5% of the company who makes ridiculously powerful EV hypercars.
Porsche's most recent hypercar, the 918 Spyder - Image: Porsche
This all sounds very good but according to Porsche, they say that to produce an EV hypercar in similar numbers to the 918 Spyder, the car won’t be ready until 2025 at the earliest. However, Porsche has looked at one other option. An F1 engine hooked up to a hybrid system. Yes, I’m serious.
If you cast your minds back a few years ago, Porsche Motorsport was planning on producing an F1 powertrain utilising an advanced plug-in petrol-electric hybrid system. Well, this is what they want to put in the 918 Spyder successor. This is similar to what Mercedes is doing with the AMG One.
This hybrid system is not only good for road use but also, for motorsport. This 918 Spyder successor could see action in the new Le Mans’ Hypercar class and the IMSA DPi regulations. According to Fritz Enzinger, Porsche has been working on a new six-cylinder engine with a hybrid system since 2017.
Porsche's latest Formula E car, the 99X - Image: Porsche
Ok, this isn’t technically a true F1 engine, but it does utilise a lot of technology they had used in the F1 engine’s development. From what we can gather though, this new hypercar will use an F1 and LMP1 inspired design with a capacity of about 2.0 litres spread across six cylinders. This sounds like a pretty compact engine to us. Despite Porsche cancelling the F1 programme in favour of Formula E, the development of this new engine didn’t stop.
Engzinger had this to say about the new engine: “At the end of 2017, we received an order to further develop a highly efficient six-cylinder engine, despite the LMP1 withdrawal – not only on paper but as hardware.” He also says that the engine is complete and undergoing tests in Weissach to validate a case for production.
Secrecy surrounds the specification of the hybrid component of the new driveline, although it has been conceived to use a powerful electric motor.
Specifications are obviously up in the air but expect it to be much more powerful than the 918 Spyder and as quick as Porsche’s Formula E car, meaning the upcoming Weissach wonder will be one of the quickest production cars when goes on sale in a few years.