Winning its category class for a third consecutive year, Porsche’s 3-litre six-cylinder turbo engine has firmly established itself as one of the true greats of its generation. Indeed, it’s becoming harder and harder to believe that this engineering masterpiece was – prior to its deployment in the 911 Carrera in 2015 – perceived by a then sceptical auto industry as a bold and controversial move for the Stuttgart-based OEM.
Now powering six derivatives of the famed Carrera application, this boxer engine’s specification remains unchanged from previous years, meaning there are still two powerful states of tune – 370ps and 420ps – to choose from.
Add to that some seriously thrilling levels of torque (450Nm and 500Nm, depending on the derivative) and it’s no wonder that this turbocharged marvel was not only lauded by the jury panel, with 60 more points than last year, but it also finished 185 points higher than its closest rival, the BMW M 3-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder heart.
“There are surely other six-cylinders out there that produce a better sound,” said Nikos Kounitis, a Greek freelance journalist for the likes of 4Wheels and Auto Bild Hellas, “but none of them can match this perfectly balanced engine, which combines driving pleasure, top class performance and throttle response.”
What’s more, the 911 turbo is almost 12% more efficient than the previous naturally aspirated flat-six it replaces, thanks to changes that include: a switch to a high-pressure direct injection fuel system; use of various lightweight materials on key components such as the crank and oil pan; and the ability of the engine to remotely shut down the water and AC auxiliary systems, which helps to reduce pumping losses.
Filipino juror Carl Cunanan, who writes for Calibre and Wheel2Wheel, was equally forthcoming in his praise: “Still a dominating force, this flexible powerplant continues to bring the Stuttgart experience to more and more drivers while still making regular driving both easier and more thrilling.”