Porsche's Flat-Six Masters Can Also Deliver a Mighty V6, Here's Why It's So Good

Porsche Twin Turbo V6 9 photos
Photo: Porsche AG
2021 Porsche Macan Turbo2021 Porsche Macan Turbo2021 Porsche Macan Turbo2021 Porsche Macan Turbo2021 Porsche Panamera 4S2021 Porsche Panamera 4S2021 Porsche Panamera 4SPorsche Twin-Turbocharged V6
When thinking about a Porsche engine, the legendary boxers come into mind, but the German carmaker also produces a twin-turbo V6 that powers its more family-oriented models.
Used in the latest Panamera 4S and the Cayenne S, the 434-hp (324 kW) engine can also be found on the facelifted Macan Turbo. Porsche claims it was developed in-house without VW involvement, but there are many similarities to the Group’s units.

The longitudinally-mounted, gasoline particulate filter-equipped powerplant was designed with a central turbo layout where the turbochargers are placed inside the V of the cylinders.

This configuration provides shorter exhaust gas routes between the combustion chambers and the turbochargers, which in turn translates to increased responsiveness and Porsche-worthy driving dynamics.

For a better connection between the V6 and the chassis, a new engine mount with a driving dynamics support was designed specifically for this unit. As a result, steering should feel more agile, and the overall stability should improve, especially when accelerating out of corners.

Porsche Twin\-Turbocharged V6
Photo: Porsche AG
To reduce weight and the number of components, engineers integrated the exhaust manifolds into each cylinder head, a design that also improves cooling and fuel economy, particularly under high loads.

Weight is slashed even further by the aluminum cylinder block construction, which is built using what engineers describe as “a special sand cast process.”

The crankshaft drive was redesigned, and it now uses an intermediate shaft to run the water pump and timing drive.

Another new development for this engine is the highly wear-resistant iron coating applied to the cylinder linings. Using an atmospheric plasma spray method, the 150 micron-thick coat reduces wear by almost 10%.

2021 Porsche Macan Turbo
Photo: Porsche AG
The twin-scroll turbochargers feature counter-rotating turbines and have a maximum charge pressure of 4.3 psi (0.3 bar). Air is processed through a dual-branch system with an intercooler and a throttle valve fitted on each side of the engine.

The engine uses VW’s cylinder deactivation technology via Porsche’s VarioCam Plus two-stage sliding cam system, which improves fuel economy by up to 30%.

Compared to the preceding powerplant, the displacement has been reduced from 3.6 to 2.9 liters. All these upgrades lead to an increase in output from 394 hp (294 kW) to 434 hp (324 kW). The maximum torque hasn’t changed, though, with the unit still developing 406 lb-ft (550 Nm); mind you, it's now available on a wider torque plateau.

In the Macan Turbo, it can be reached between 1,800 and 5,500 rpm as opposed to the 1,350–4,500 rpm range of the 3.6-liter predecessor.

2021 Porsche Panamera 4S
Photo: Porsche AG
On the 2021 Panamera 4S E-Hybrid, this V6 engine is part of a hybrid powertrain capable of delivering a total system output of 552 hp (412 kW) and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) of torque, thanks to the 100 kW (134 hp) electric motor.

On all models, the engine is linked to Porsche’s latest version of the ZF-sourced PDK eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which has been revised for compatibility with hybrid powertrains.

It uses a motorsport-derived spray lubrication system by way of a variable vane oil pump, a technology that the manufacturer claims to be a ‘first’ for a road car.

Although the essence of Porsche is still the flat-six, its engineers prove that they are capable of developing an equally thrilling V6 that can deliver plenty of power either by itself or aided by a hybrid system.
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About the author: Vlad Radu
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Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times.
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