Worry not! Turbocharged 911s will still thrill like a Porsche should, says engine boss

Published: 13 April 2015

► Porsche turbo engines 'will not lose character'
► This autumn's 991.2 will bring turbos to Carreras
► Group powertrain chief Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser drops hints 

CAR has already revealed how turbocharging is coming to most Porsche 911s from autumn 2015, as the new 991.2 mid-life facelift lands around the Frankfurt motor show. 

Worried that the evergreen sports car benchmark might suffer a character bypass, as the flat six succumbs to forced aspiration? Hope is at hand.

At the recent New York motor show, we caught up with Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser, new-product chief at Volkswagen and board member at a group level for powertrain development. So he knows everything about the turbocharging trend - and flat-fours - coming to Porsches soon.

And he was adamant that it won't ruin their character.

Why forced induction won't ruin revvy Porsche engines

Neusser revealed that 911s will keep their revvy nature and suggested that the flat six will rev to around 7000rpm. 'Turbocharging is possible with higher revs - it's not true to say that turbocharged engines must stop at 6000rpm,' he told CAR. 'That's not true... If you look at McLaren, they already have in production turbo engines with high revs.

'The point is that you have more freedom with tuborcharging to express the torque behaviour over the complete rev range. And we're looking at what the best maximum speed you can get with such an engine. I think it's around 7000rpm, give or take a little bit.

'It makes no sense to go to 10,000rpm with a turbocharged engine.'

And the soundtrack? 

Neusser was adamant that Porsche sports cars would continue to sound special. 'Noise is not a problem,' he said. 'Look at the 911 Turbo; it has an extremely expressive noise today - that is not a problem. At the other end of the scale, the Golf R has it too. You won't miss character with turbos, I promise.'

The turbocharged flat six from a 991 Turbo

He also explained how 'supported e-charging' is being developed 'to compensate for turbo lag', hinting at electrically assisted turbos which spool up more instantaneously than ever.

Sadly, the engine chief was unable to spill the beans on exact data yet, but we anticipate a shrinking of the capacity, CO2 and fuel consumption, but more of the good stuff. We've already reported that the base Carrera is likely to shrink below 3.0 litres. And Neusser also confirmed that naturally aspirated engines would continue.  

'I think it's quite clear that in future for the very sporty cars, we will stick with naturally aspirated engine with high revs,' he told CAR. 'If you have a high revving engine which can run close to 10,000rpm in a sports car... that is a special thing.'

Sounds like the GT3 is safe, for now. Amen to that.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet