Rumors about Porsche developing a supercar that would rival the Ferrari 458 Italia are growing in intensity, with a fresh report from the UK saying that the car will have an eight-cylinder boxer engine. UK magazine Autocar says Porsche’s supercar will carrying the development name “988” and sit above the iconic 911 in the company’s lineup. The decision to use a flat eight engine is reportedly due to the fact that Porsche’s flat six engine is nearing its capacity limit – the recent 911 GT3 recall caused by a defect of the 3.8-liter engine may indicate that.
The eight-cylinder boxer engine is expected to boast a capacity of 4.0 liters and feature turbocharging. The prototype engine is reportedly being tested with four turbos, with the output nearing 600 hp – more than Ferrari 458 Italia’s 562 hp. Peak torque is said to be bigger too, at around 400 lb-ft (542 Nm), and available much lower down the rev range.
Like the 458 Italia, the Porsche 988 will be mid-engined. In terms of design, the supercar will feature design cues from the 918 Spyder hypercar (pictured), such as the shape of the headlights, as well as a long rear deck because of the mid-mounted flat eight engine.
The supercar is expected to go on sale in 2017, followed by replacements for the Boxster, Cayman and 911.