A Twin-Turbo 5.0L Flat-8 Project Porsche That Gave Birth To The 718 Cayman And Boxster

Porsche created a project car based on the Cayman chassis powered by a 5.0L twin-turbo flat-8 engine mated to a manual gearbox as a successor to the 959, later they canned the entire project, but the 5.0L flat-8 engine was later revealed with a smaller version of a 2.0 flat-4 in the 718 twins.

Porsche 918 Spyder is one of the most incredible Porsches ever made. Launched back in 2013, powered by a 4.6L V8 hybrid able to put out 874hp and 1280Nm of peak torque and a 0-100km time of under 2.6 seconds. Not only the numbers but as an overall car, the 918 Spyder is been still considered an icon as per modern car standards.

And then in 2016 Porsche launched the 718 Cayman and Boxster with the 2.0L turbocharged flat-4, and the chassis of the 718 Cayman and Boxster was so potent that Porsche was able to fit the GT3’s 4.0L flat-6 in the Cayman and BOOM! The Cayman GT4 RS was born, one of the purest driver’s cars Porsche has ever made. But after the 918 Spyder’s success and before the launch of the 718 twins, Porsche had started cooking something tastier with the Cayman chassis and came up with something ahead of time.

Marcos Marques, now managing Porsche’s E-fuel development centre in Chile, in an interview with The Intercooler spoke about a mid-engine 5.0L flat-8 twin-turbo manual Porsche built on the Cayman chassis with the name rumoured as 960 was planned after the 918 Spyder, as a successor of the legendary Porsche 959.

That 5.0L twin-turbo flat-8 was able to put out a monstrous 750hp and 1000Nm of torque, revved till 9000rpm and was hooked to a manual transmission, it was not more powerful than the 918 Spyder’s hybrid V8, but the reason behind this unbelievable combination of the 5.0L flat-8 twin-turbo and the Cayman chassis was to give the customer the purest driving experience of the most powerful manual Porsche ever made, and Porsche tested this amazing creation on the roads near Weissach for more than a year, before completely shutting the project down.

Porsche completely canned this project because they felt that it was ahead of its time, and Marque also mentioned that “we’re an engineering company at the core and we’re always searching for new answers, different solutions, and sometimes those answers aren’t needed at that time. But that is all part of the engineering process. It is what makes Porsche unique as a car company.”

In 2020 Porsche revealed their series of secret projects and concept cars, entitled as Porsche Unseen series, which included Porsches that were only been created as an inspiration to the future Porsches, one of them was the road-going version of Porsche’s Le Mans-winning 919 hybrid known as 919 Street, Porsche 911 Vision Safari that came to life as the 911 Dakar, Porsche 904 Living Legend, etc. and some versions of the 904 Living Legend were powered by that 5.0L twin-turbo flat-8.

The main idea of Porsche was to create the flat-8 for an entirely different car, but Porsche tested it on the Cayman chassis with that monstrous engine fitted in the middle, they clocked some miles on it but completely shut it down because it was way ahead of its time. But the 718 twins are the result of that secret project, Porsche reduced the size of the 5.0L flat-8 twin-turbo to a 2.0L flat-4 with a single turbo fitted at the rear mid of the 718 twins, and from here we understood the true potential of the Cayman chassis.

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Nishant Bharwani
Nishant Bharwani

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