Please Don't Call The Porsche 911 With The Engine In The Middle 'Mid-Engine'

Photo credit: Kurt Bradley

Perhaps my favorite quote of the weekend is from Porsche Vice President of Motorsport Frank-Steffen Walliser on the new Porsche 911 RSR. The engine is in between the axles now, but calling it “mid-engine” is just a step too far.


“The engine was moved ahead of the rear axle—what they call mid-engine,” Walliser said at a pre-Rolex 24 press conference on Friday. “But we try to avoid saying that officially.”

“Mid-engine,” of course, is the widely used term for an engine that sits between a car’s axles. But no, the 911 has traditionally been a rear-engine car.

Engine! Photo credit: Kurt Bradley

We’re talking about a fanbase who flipped right out when the 996 generation showed up with non-round headlamps. Can you imagine the things Porsche purists would secretly want to set on fire if they moved the engine forward, but ultimately won’t set ablaze because rioting is for the poors?


Please, spare Porsche your questions about the 911 becoming less and less like a 911. Let’s not upset the apple-cart too much. The current regulations made it a necessity to move the engine forward to take advantage of aerodynamic allowances that couldn’t be exploited with an engine in the way. It’s just for the series, guys, really! Please stop asking.

Photo credit: Kurt Bradley

(So, when can we get a roadgoing 911 with a huge rear diffuser like that? Because it looks awesome.)

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Stef Schrader

Contributor, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.