Last year, Porsche’s turbocharged flat-six won this category on its debut, albeit by a narrow margin.
One year, and a whole host of new rivals later, Porsche’s 3-litre has simply stretched its legs and disappeared into the distance, its points advantage over its closest rivals more than three times greater than it was last year.
Remaining unchanged from the previous year’s specification, the boxer engine still uses the 91.0 x 76.4mm bore and stroke measurements to achieve the 3-litre swept capacity. It also retains the integrated dry-sump system and 10.0:1 compression ratio.
Still offered in two states of tune, 370ps and 420ps, depending on whether customers opt for the Carrera or Carrera S options, the 3-litre engine has found home in four separate 911 models, all of which have won praise from our judges.
“With almost every 911 being a turbo these days, nostalgia has been replaced with pure performance,” enthused Dutch journalist Sjoerd van Bilsen. “More of everything except sound is something I can live with.”
“A competitive category, with all the six cylinders so close to each other, but the Porsche-engine combines performance with full efficiency so perfectly,” added juror Marc Noordeloos.
That efficiency comes courtesy of the switch to turbocharged power, in conjunction with a high-pressure direct injection fuel system, and lightweight materials on key components such as the crank and oil pan, while the ability for the engine to remotely shut down the water and AC auxiliary systems helps reduce its pumping losses. These changes deliver a claimed 12% rise in efficiency, with fuel consumption increased by up to 1 l/100km.
BMW, a manufacturer that once dominated this category, found itself slipping more than 170 points behind the Porsche with its M3/M4 3-litre unit, and the FCA’s all-new 2.9-litre ‘hot’ V6, as found solely in the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, rounded out the top three.