Porsche's Powerful Flat-16 Engine in a 917 PA Spyder

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【Summary】Porsche developed a flat 16-cylinder engine with over 800 horsepower for their 917 PA Spyder race car in the 1970s, in an attempt to address power challenges in the Can-Am series dominated by McLaren. The engine was created by Hans Mezger under Ferdinand Piech's supervision.

FutureCar Staff    Nov 20, 2023 3:14 PM PT
Porsche's Powerful Flat-16 Engine in a 917 PA Spyder

Porsche's iconic 917 race cars were not created overnight. It took years of development for the German automaker to perfect these legendary vehicles. One of the key challenges Porsche faced was in the Can-Am series, where McLaren was dominating the competition. Despite the success of the Porsche 917 in endurance racing, the Can-Am series proved to be a formidable challenge.

In order to address the power deficit faced by the 917/10 in the Can-Am series, Porsche decided to explore new avenues. They embarked on the development of a flat 16-cylinder engine that could deliver over 800 horsepower. This engine was meant to give the 917/10 the power it needed to compete against its V8-powered rivals.

To test this new engine, Porsche created the 917 PA Spyder. This car served as a test mule and featured the unique 16-cylinder engine developed by the legendary engineer Hans Mezger. Under the supervision of Ferdinand Piech, the 917 PA Spyder became an important milestone in the development of Porsche's race cars.

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