Automakers are rarely willing to talk about canceled projects, let alone share so many tidbits pertaining ultra-secret cars that never saw the light of production day. Thankfully, Porsche shared with renown journalist Steve Sutcliffe from The Intercooler some juicy details about a supercar that was supposed to come after the 918 Spyder. The latter was retired in mid-2015 after a production run of 918 cars.
Marcos Marques, Project Manager eFuels at Porsche, had a surprising response when he was asked about why the house of Zuffenhausen green-lighted a four-cylinder Cayman. As it turns out, the original idea was to engineer a flat-eight engine for an entirely different car. It was more than just an idea written on a piece of paper as it evolved into a full-blown experminetal vehicle based on a Cayman chassis. The mid-engined coupe had a twin-turbo, 5.0-liter engine with 750 horsepower and 738 pound-feet (1,000 Newton-meters) of torque.
As if that didn't sound hugely desirable already, the engine had a screaming 9,000 rpm redline and was hooked up to a manual gearbox. Marques says it was a "crazy car and it sounded amazing." Porsche tested the flat-eight monster on the roads near Weissach for more than a year before abruptly pulling the plug on the project.
As to why testing and development suddenly stopped, Marques says Porsche felt "it wasn't the right car for that moment in time." He went on to mention:
"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's all part of the engineering process. It's what makes Porsche unique as a car company."
Pictured here is the 2016 Le Mans Living Legend, one of several cars from the Porsche Unseen series. It was a fullsize clay model envisioned with the "most incredible-sounding" eight-cylinder engine.
The German automaker has said a 918 Spyder successor will eventually come since a "hypercar is always part of Porsche's strategy," according to CEO Oliver Blume. The top brass specified it won't be launched before 2025 and only "when it's time to bring it." By that he meant it must introduce new technology instead of being a rehash of already available hardware.