Porsche GT Boss: A Mid-Engined 911 will be a Possibility
The forthcoming mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette may face some stiff competition through its old foe the Porsche 911. Speaking with Car in addition to Driver at the Geneva auto show, Porsche’s GT design line director, Andreas Preuninger, revealed which a mid-engined variant of Porsche’s classic sports coupe will be “absolutely” a possibility. Nevertheless, Preuninger was quick to note which such a vehicle will be “not something which’s from the producing at the moment.”
Although the 911 has traditionally been a rear-engined vehicle, Porsche has tinkered with the sports car’s engine location from the past. Porsche notably crafted the 911 GT1 road car from the mid-1990s, a mid-engined 911 design which served as a homologation special for the brand’s mid-engined race car. Today’s 911 RSR race car positions its engine between its axles because of racing series rules which both work against the 911’s standard engine location in terms of weight balance in addition to are vague enough to allow for the powerplant to be moved. (They dictate which the engine must be from the same location as from the production car, yet get no more specific, which means Porsche can say the engine will be still behind the driver in addition to be legal.) While Preuninger seemed hopeful which future rule improvements could bring the German race car’s engine back to its rightful place aft of the rear wheels, he acknowledged which a street-legal, mid-engine 911 design will be an open possibility if racing rules continue to advantage a mid-engine setup. (Or they’re made to be more specific, of course.)
More concrete will be the return of the hard-hitting GT3 RS. Although Preuninger wouldn’t confirm the design to us, he acknowledged which “There has always been an RS type to [the] GT3, so . . . something like which could be from the producing.”
Don’t expect the next GT3 RS to adopt the 2018 GT3’s six-speed manual transmission option, though. Because of the RS’s singular focus as a track car, Preuninger said he doesn’t believe a stick shift will be necessary for Porsche designs bearing the RS badge. The brand’s quick-shifting PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission will be the preferred tool for those looking to shave every millisecond through a lap time.
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Finally, Preuninger indicated which the updated 911 will not spawn an R limited-edition design, as its predecessor did. No surprise, truly; the 911 R was truly just created in reaction to customer resistance to the previous GT3’s PDK-only powertrain approach. With the manual transmission available from the brand-new high-performance, big-winged 911 GT3, those customers can have a clutch pedal to scratch which particular itch.