Porsche is in the midst of downsizing its entire portfolio of engines. The Cayman and Boxster recently swapped their naturally aspirated flat-six for a turbocharged flat-four, most 911 variants moved to a turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-six last year, and bigger models like the Panamera and the Cayenne will soon use a smaller turbo eight.
The new V8 was announced during the Vienna Motor Symposium, a fancy name for an event where the brightest minds from the world’s leading car makers get together and talk tech. Its displacement is being kept secret for the time being, but the fact that it’s related to Audi’s new 3.0-liter V6 suggests it’s a 4.0-liter unit. In its basic state of tune, it generates 550 horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 568 pound-feet of torque from 1,960 to 4,500 rpm thanks in part to a pair of twin-scroll turbochargers. The eight-cylinder keeps revving until it reaches a 6,800-rpm redline.
It’s markedly more powerful than the twin-turbocharged 4.8-liter V8 (pictured) it will replace, which churns out 520 ponies and 516 pound-feet of torque in base tune. A cylinder de-activation system reduces fuel consumption by about 30 percent by turning the V8 into a frugal turbo four when extra power isn’t needed. The engine is also developed with hybrid drivetrains in mind, according to Car & Driver, meaning that a gasoline-electric Porsche with a V8 and an electric motor could see the light of day in the not-too-distant future. Porsche has previously announced plans to offer a hybrid variant of every single nameplate in its lineup.
The V8 is designed to work with either an eight-speed automatic transmission with a torque converter, or an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic. Right now there’s no indication that it was developed with a manual transmission in mind, but both ZF-designed gearboxes will likely feature steering wheel-mounted paddles.
Porsche’s new V8 engine will be inaugurated by the next-generation of the Panamera that’s scheduled to greet the public for the first time at this fall’s Paris Auto Show. Later on, it will find its way under the hood of the Cayenne, a handful of Audi and Bentley models, and even the Urus SUV that Lamborghini will introduce in 2018.