Porsche has stuck with a rear-engine bias for their 911 sports car for decades. Originally a carryover from the days of the 356 (and by extension the Beetle), Porsche’s 911 has had the engine slung out behind the rear axle since its inception, with two motorsport-induced exceptions: The 911 GT1 of the late 1990s, and the current 911 RSR, both mid-engine layouts.
So, is this rear-engine layout an anachronistic leftover from yesteryear, or does it still make sense for the German sports car maker to produce the ass-engine machine? Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained has produced this short-yet-entertaining video to give us some idea of the reasoning behind the design. Click play and nerd out.
The video breaks down a few of the reasons Porsche might be sticking with the 911's layout; including weight transfer under braking, weight transfer under acceleration, and fun-to-drive rear-wheel bias in all-wheel-drive cars. It’s a thorough argument, addressed from both sides, laying out the pros and cons therein. The fact is, if Porsche can produce a 700+ horsepower turbocharged rear-drive monster in the current GT2 RS, and not only maintain driveability, but set lap records in the process, it’s a layout that has proved itself.