If you want a good example of evolution, you donâ€™t need to venture all the way to the Galapagos Islands. Simply look at the lineage of the Porsche 911 for confirmation of how a species evolves and adapts over time.
Not long ago, the mighty 911 Turbo was the only example of the breed with a snail attached to its rear-mounted engine. Now, with turbos pervading nearly the entire line, it seemed as if naturally aspirated 911s would disappear like the dodo bird. However, weâ€™re now hearing rumours the GT3 may retain its non-turbo status … with a flat-six that screams its way to 9,500 rpm.
Speaking to Aussie mag Which Car, one Thomas Mader, Porscheâ€™s lead man on GT road car engines (and I thought *my * job was cool), explained he does not think the current 4.0-liter six will disappear before suggesting an increase in piston stroke and a bump of 500 rpm on the redline.
Porscheâ€™s engine man also said the company will â€œlook at the things we have on track to put in the street car.â€� While weâ€™re speculating, letâ€™s also assume this statement alludes to the 4.0-liter racing engine thatâ€™s mounted amidships in the 911 RSR. That mill revs to 9,500 rpm and sounds damned good doing it. Naturally, a roadgoing engine is expected to last significantly longer than a race motor, so any adaptation of the RSRâ€™s 4.0-liter would undoubtedly give a few concessions to durability.
Doing such modifications to the engine would also require an examination of the rest of the car. From the What Car story: “For [the new GT3 RS], [9,000 rpm] is matched perfect to the whole system. Now I have to speak to my colleagues and we will have a car, and we will have 9,500 revs, and matched to that all to the gearbox, then we will work on that technical side, which should be possible … but [although] we have that engine for the racetrack, the lifetime aspect for road car is different.”
The current GT3 spins up to a 9,000 rpm redline, making 520 pavement-pummeling horsepower. Porsche has been busy touting its lap time of 6:56.4 set at the NÃ¼rburgring-Nordschleife circuit in Germany. Those GT3 owners without carte blanche to the Green Hell can console themselves with 0-60 mph blasts in 3.2 seconds and a 312 km/h top speed (that metric measure sounds better than 195 mph).
As evolution has taught us, the hardiest of creatures adapt and change to their environments in order to survive. The naturally-aspirated 911 has been around since 1963. We doubt it is going away any time soon.