Porsche still working on new six-cylinder engine

Porsche is continuing development work on the planned successor to its LMP1 engine, despite exiting the category, but its bosses will not be drawn on rumours of it entering Formula 1.

Porsche still working on new six-cylinder engine

The German manufacturer decided to quit prototype sportscar racing to focus on joining Formula E in the 2019/20 season, but it has also taken an interest in F1's discussions over new engine rules for 2021, with LMP1 team boss Andreas Seidl attending recent meetings on the topic.

Porsche was already four months into developing its new LMP1 engine by the time it announced it was quitting the World Endurance Championship's top class, and 30 people are still working on that project at its Weissach base.

"It was clear to us, if we continued in LMP1, we had to make a new engine and we had seen that our four-cylinder engine is reaching its limits," said Porsche LMP1 director Fritz Enzinger.

"We started with a six-cylinder engine in April and of course we want to finish it off. We'll do it, first of all as a single-cylinder engine as we do not have the order to develop a complete engine."

When asked if the project could be part of a plan to enter F1 in the future, Enzinger added: "We have no such mandate, you cannot say more about that for now."

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume stressed that the engine project is primarily focused on R&D for the company's future road cars.

The manufacturer has already achieved more than 40 percent thermal efficiency with its LMP1 engine, but it is understood to be targeting the 50 percent mark, which Mercedes reached earlier this year on its dyno with its F1 engine.

"I won't comment on Formula 1," said Blume, who added that "there is a lot of interpretation" about Porsche's motorsport future.

"For now, we're concentrating on Formula E. At Porsche, we've always been well advised to focus on one thing, so as not to overstrain the company.

"We have a great facility at Weissach with a new wind tunnel directly connected to our new design department, the models can always be tested in reference with the windtunnel, a new department for drivetrain testing is built in near future, and we have built a department for the integration of electronics.

"Anyone who saw Weissach 10 years ago will not recognise it now."

Motorsport.com understands Porsche's engine team has received support from its parent Volkswagen Group, with former VW WRC engine chief Donatus Wichelhaus also working on the project.

However, Blume said there is no talk of the developments being used in motorsport at the moment.

"We start by developing a single-cylinder engine to test combustion systems for our future [road] sportscars," he said.

"Whether or not it can be used in motorsport is a second pair of shoes, which is not up for discussion at the moment.

"Such systems are already being used in racing, but we are working hard to get even more efficiency out it, which we have always succeeded in doing."

shares
comments
Bernhard column: Porsche bows out in style in Bahrain
Previous article

Bernhard column: Porsche bows out in style in Bahrain

Next article

Alonso needs "much more practice" with endurance cars

Alonso needs "much more practice" with endurance cars
Load comments
Why F1-snubbed Davidson has no regrets in retirement Prime

Why F1-snubbed Davidson has no regrets in retirement

He may not have won the Le Mans 24 Hours - falling agonisingly short in 2016 - and didn't get the opportunities in Formula 1 his talents merited. But after calling time on his professional career last month, Anthony Davidson says his pride in his performances with Peugeot and Toyota in LMP1 mean more than the results he achieved

WEC
Dec 17, 2021
Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021 Prime

Why Le Mans didn't decide Toyota's WEC title outcome in 2021

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez scored a second successive FIA World Endurance Championship title in the #7 Toyota, as its new Le Mans Hypercar went unbeaten. Motorsport.com recaps how each of the four classes in the 2021 season were won and picks out the best LMH and GTE drivers

WEC
Nov 28, 2021
The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending Prime

The unanswered questions that define WEC 2021's controversial ending

OPINION: The deeply unsatisfying ending to a brilliant World Endurance Championship GTE Pro battle in Bahrain had Ferrari provisionally heading back from the desert as the victor. But Porsche plans to appeal the outcome, which rests on a number of confusing elements that have yet to be satisfactorily explained.

WEC
Nov 9, 2021
How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint Prime

How the WEC's heavyweight duel reached its controversial flashpoint

The Ferrari versus Porsche fight for the FIA World Endurance Championship's GTE Pro title had been a finely-poised affair, right up until Alessandro Pier Guidi's punt on Michael Christensen in the closing stages of the Bahrain 8 Hours handed Ferrari a provisional title, pending Porsche's appeal. Here's how the controversy played out.

WEC
Nov 8, 2021
The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster Prime

The remarkable fixes Toyota used to avert another Le Mans disaster

The 1-2 finish achieved by Toyota at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours was a result that will have surprised few, given its status as pre-event favourite. But the result was anything but straightforward, as worsening fuel pressure concerns required the team's drivers and engineers to pursue "creative fixes" on the fly. Here is the full story of how it reached the end without a lengthy pit visit

Le Mans
Nov 3, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021