Porsche, more than almost any other Le Mans team, keeps pretty close ties between the engines in its race cars and those in its road cars. So, uh, what's going on with the V4 in the 919 LMP1 hybrid?
To back up my earlier claim about road car/race car links, you can find road-relations in nearly every Porsche prototype engine. The 917 was designed something like two 911 engines merged together in the middle. The 936 had a variation of the turbo flat six found in the 934, a variation of the regular flat six found in the 911. That engine got redeveloped for the Indy 500 then went back into the 936, then went on to live a life in the 956/962 and then further in Porsche's 1990s GT1 cars.
The V10 that was going to become a Footwork F1 engine was redeveloped into an LMP1 car for the early 2000s but ended up in the road car Carrera GT. Even Porsche's RS Spyder LMP2 V8 now gets to live in road car form in the 918.
Now, these moves have been more based on economy than maybe anything else (Porsche has rarely had enough money to go around building whatever kind of engine it wants), but it does make me dream that Porsche might simply want to do some road car application of the 2.0 liter V4 in the current 919.
Porsche has claimed that this is a clean sheet engine (rather than something like a 3.0 liter Macan V6 with a couple cylinders lopped off), so there's not necessarily an easy way to turn this 500 horsepower race motor into something that would fit road car standards for cleanliness or civility.
God help them try and get the hybrid tech into a road car. This thing harvests electricity straight out of the exhaust among other complexities.
Still, Porsche has stuffed one of these in the middle of a Cayman before, using this one right here as an engine mule.
Perhaps I'm letting my fantasies get the better of me dreaming that the next Cayman/Boxster pair might get some variation of the 919's ICE.
Photo Credits: Porsche