Why the Porsche 911 Is Rear-Engined (Engineering Explained Breaks It Down)

Why the Porsche 911 Is Rear-Engined 4 photos
Photo: Engineering Explained/YT
Why the Porsche 911 Is Rear-EnginedWhy the Porsche 911 Is Rear-EnginedWhy the Porsche 911 Is Rear-Engined
If there's one part of the Neunelfers-are-just-overglorified-Beetles jokes that can be taken seriously, this has to do with the rear-engined layout of the Porsche 911.
You see, back in the days of the Volkswagen Beetle, the rear-engined layout was extremely popular. As such, the first Porsche, namely the 356, also came in such a form, with these genes obviously also being passed down to the original Neunelfer.

And while the German automotive producer was considering putting the 911 to sleep in the 80s, in favor of machines with different layouts, the model was kept in production.

Well, here we are in 2018, with almost everybody else having given up on placing the engine at the back. Zuffenhausen still insists on doing this and the Germans are doing an awesome job. For instance, this allows the Neunelfer to keep its four-seater configuration, giving it a practicality boost over its competitors.

On the other hand, the five-decade chassis tuning means that the 911 also holds the Nurburgring production car lap record, with the 700 hp GT2 RS having one-upped the all-mighty (and mid-engined) 918 Spyder.

Of course, there are also exceptions, but these only involve the mid-engined 991 GT1 (think late 90s) and the current 911 RSR.

As for why the German automotive producer still likes the keep the engine "in the wrong place", we've brought along a piece of footage that brings multiple arguments in favor of this layout.

The clip comes from Engineering Explained, with Jason Fenske, the vlogger behind the label, talking about weight transfer under deceleration and acceleration, as well as rear-wheel bias in all-wheel-drive configurations. Those of you familiar with this YT label know that the whiteboard stuff is heading your way.

Oh, and if you're wondering about how tame the GT2 RS is, here's an example that makes driving the thing in the winter look easy.

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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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