Porsche and Audi's Last V-8 Engine Lies In the Panamera Turbo
And in its way, Dieselgate is to blame.
Take a good, long look at the picture of that Porsche Panamera Turbo above these words, folks. Odds are good that its engine bay holds the last V-8 engine Porsche, Audi, and Bentley will ever use.
The sad news comes from a source inside the VW Group, who told Autocar the new Audi-developed 4.0-liter V-8 making its gasoline debut in the new Porsche Panamera Turbo will likely be the last motor of its type and cylinder count to roll out of the Volkswagen family's factories. Credit or blame (mostly blame) the German carmaker's "TOGETHER - Strategy 2025," the massive post-Dieselgate restructuring effort intended to transform it into a company that can make three million electric cars a year by the middle of next decade. A big part of that plan, the source says, involves diverting a ton of R&D cash over to electric powertrains and the like—which means far less money for gas-guzzling eight-pots.
"“It would be very difficult to justify the huge investment in another new V8 because of the cost of developing electric drivetrains and battery packs," the source told Autocar. "You have to ask what is the best use of investment money.”
If the VW Group's eight-cylinder engines have to go out, though, at least they're going out swinging. The V-8 engine in question comes in both gasoline and diesel forms; it made its debut as the latter in the Audi SQ7, where it came packing twin turbos and an electric supercharger. Both gasoline and diesel V-8s are available in the new Panamera, with the former making 550-hp and the latter cranking out 627 lb.-ft. of torque. And the engine will presumably make its way into almost every other large performance-oriented car in the Audi, Porsche, and Bentley portfolios.
But just because this may be the last V-8 Audi et. al. will develop doesn't mean it's dying anytime soon. General Motors has been working with the small-block V-8 for decades; with the continual march of technology being what it is, it's all together possible we may well see a distant relative of the Panamera Turbo's serving as the heart of a future Porsche 928 come 2060.
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