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Porsche “Not Pushing” for Turbo Switch in Future 911 RSR

Walliser downplays rumors of switch to turbocharged engine in new-gen Porsche 911 RSR…

Photo: Porsche

Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser has discounted rumors of the German manufacturer switching to a turbocharged engine for its next-generation Porsche 911 RSR, stating that he doesn’t see a big need to go away from its tried-and-trusted normally aspirated powerplant.

Spy shots of what appears to be Porsche’s new-for-2019 GTE car were revealed last month, with a car featuring a revised exhaust configuration.

Eyewitness reports of a significantly different sounding engine, likely due to the muffled noise from the externally-placed exhaust tubes, led to speculation that a switch could be in the works for its next car, likely due in time for the start of the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship season.

While Walliser declined to comment on the spy shots or the existence of a new GTE car altogether, he did admit that he still sees no performance difference by going with a turbo under the current regulations. 

“For me it’s properly balanced,” he told Sportscar365. “But this is not depending on turbo or no turbo. The turbos are controlled, they look at the temperatures of the intercoolers, they look at the boost pressures and all these things. For me it’s fine.”

When asked if he sees a long-term future of continuing with normally aspirated flat-six engines in its 911 GTE race cars, Walliser said it depends on the link to Porsche’s production cars.

“For sure, I look at the street cars,” he said. “If I asked the guys here [at Rennsport], ‘Should we stay normally aspirated or do you want a turbo?’ It’s only normally aspirated. If I go down in the paddock and ask, there’s craziness about normally aspirated engines.

“So this is very essential: the link to the street cars. The guys understand more to change the position of the engine than turbo or normally aspirated.

“Performance-wise, it doesn’t make a difference. It’s a different concept but it’s balanceable. I don’t feel a big need. It’s something we can do but we’re not pushing for it.”

With the GTE class set to begin a new three-year regulations cycle in mid-2019, following the WEC ‘Super Season’-ending 24 Hours of Le Mans, Walliser acknowledged it does present an opportunity for manufacturers to roll out a new homologation, or simply opt for an Evo kit to its existing car.

“You have a new homologation period and it’s up to you if you go for an update of the car or keep the [existing] car,” Walliser said.

“Some competitors have done it the hard way [with] Evos. Knowing what you have is also good. But a new homologation is a new homologation.”

Sportscar365 believes that the new-gen 911 RSR could be revealed before the end of this year.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. George 917-30

    October 5, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Sure, it might be a smokescreen, but Dr. Walliser sounds like a true racer, listening to the fans and customers. Truly great-sounding engines in the RSR’s, enjoyed them at The Glen this year. Let’s hope the racers at Chevy are listening too.

  2. Matt

    October 5, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Walliser is a smart guy. Porsche gets more positive recognition and press from having one of the last great sounding engines in racing than it would get from winning an extra race here or there. Fans and journalists love the 911 RSR. Nobody gives a crap about BMW’s M6 or M8.

    • NASCAR/DPs Suck

      October 5, 2018 at 3:31 pm

      Very true, you’d think BMW would listen to their fans a bit like Porsche seems to do. I’m a big fan of BMW road cars but their race cars after the E92 M3 have done nothing for me.

  3. Old Trombone

    October 6, 2018 at 10:22 am

    The Porsche mid-engine turbo race car of 2020-2028 will be a 962 built on the same idea as that 935 they just showed at RennSport. This 911RSR GTE car has been a prototype for this new customer-ready 962. The new 962 will race as a GT1 car in the new SRO series that is poised to swoop and take over the ACO and the WEC, and the 935 will be in the GT2 Gentleman class. Yes, whether Todt likes it or not…

    Le Mans 2022, run by Ratel
    GT1 all pro, factory
    GT2 – Pro-Am, Am-Am
    GT3 – Pro-Pro, Pro-Am
    GT4 – Pro-Am, Am-Am

    • DD44

      October 9, 2018 at 1:02 am

      What is it with some Americans obsession with Ratel and SRO?

      Come over to Europe and watch the turgid identikit races if you love it so much. There’s one (or more) every weekend.

  4. Slicks in the wet

    October 6, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Turbo gets better BoP.

    They are not better in road going form.

    But if you wanna win in these series, you need a turbo engine. Sadly.

    • Bodyworker

      October 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm

      … with their small 4.0 litre atmospheric Engines Porsche won’t be able to Keep the pace of a Weapon like the Ford GT’s…

      …Maybe they put a little more Volume in their FlatSix…?

      …. perhaps 5.4 Litre would do…? ; )

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