The 992 series 911 has mostly improved over the previous generation. Sure, the rear end still has a little too much Sir-Mix-A lot influence, but the driving dynamics are on point. However, Porsche lovers hoping for a naturally-aspirated variant are going to be disappointed. The automaker says it’s not happening.
Porsche 911 variants over the years, for the most part, have usually been more about evolution than revolution. While technology and consumer tastes have changed, the overall formula has basically stayed the same: a rear-mounted six-cylinder engine wrapped in the same iconic shape. Every serious Porsche person will not be shy about telling you which generation is the “best” one and at what point Porsche “ruined” the car, but by any rational metric, the 911 has improved over the years.
The latest generation 992 series car has been well received, but hardcore enthusiasts have been holding out hope that Porsche will continue with at least some use of a naturally-aspirated motor paired with a manual gearbox.
According to a recent interview with EVO magazine Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, the man responsible for Porsche’s sports cars, confirmed that only one of those two beloved elements are in the cards for the 992.
There is a naturally-aspirated flat six in Porsche’s portfolio at the moment, as EVO notes, the “naturally aspirated flat-six engine in the 718 Boxster and Cayman GTS models [...] a detuned version of the 4-litre GT4/Spyder engine,” but that’s not coming to the 911, per Walliser:
The 4-litre engine in the GTS can’t be rotated through 180 degrees to fit in the 911. We will not see them again (naturally aspirated engines in the Carrera models). I’m sorry about that. ‘The R&D costs are too high to develop such an engine for the Carrera. And producing individual engines for different markets such as China, the US and Europe isn’t viable. The Carrera will always be turbocharged for the future.’
However, the good news is that Dr. Walliser will make three pedals available in the 911 for as long as he can:
“A manual gearbox offers feedback that our customers enjoy when they drive their cars. It’s important for the experience,’ explained Walliser. ‘We had to go to the board I think seven times to explain why we need to offer a manual gearbox.
‘We will offer one [a manual gearbox] as long as possible, but one day it will not be possible to do so. But I hope that day is a long way away.’
EVO claims that Porsche wants to keep turbos out of GT3s as long as possible (“the GT cars will continue with their NA motors for as long as it is feasibly possible to do so”) but who knows. I’m sure that many of you expect the 991.2 series GT3 to be the last of its kind with a free-breathing 4.0-liter motor, and I imagine owners of those cars will be hoping for values to rise. If you do own such a machine, I would encourage you to enjoy the thing and not treat it like a museum piece.