Engine downsizing has become essential for all automotive segments, but it’s the sports car, supercars and hypercars enthusiasts care about most. Porsche is one of those enthusiast brands and it too has engaged in downsizing. The latest 911 and 718 Boxster/Cayman are proof. But how much could Porsche reduce its engine displacement? AutoGuide spoke with a member of the executive board for R&D of Porsche, Michael Steiner, about this very subject at the LA Auto Show.
“We could do more downsizing, even below 2.0-liters, but if you would like to have good performance and very precise and fast reaction to any movement of the gas pedal, you need torque, not only power,” Steiner said. Hybridization, however, would be a good way to make up for some torque. Ultimately though, pure EVs are the answer. “At some point, it would make no more sense to downsize the combustion engine and put more and more electric energy into the vehicle. You come to the point where it doesn’t make sense anymore, so we would do a full electric.” Remember, Porsche has already experimented with small displacement in the 919 hybrid race car.
It had a 2.0-liter engine that, when combined with an electric motor, produced more than 900 hp. “This (the 919) engine is downsized to the extreme,” Steiner added. “This system was only made possible because of the electrified powertrain, which is able to supply loads of torque. The system would just be too heavy and complicated for a road car, so a fully electric would make more sense to get purer Porsche performance.”