Swap Alert: There’s an 800-HP Porsche Indy Car V8 for Sale

How does 800-horsepower on methanol sound?

byPeter Holderith|
For Sale photo
RM Sotheby's


Porsche's foray into American open-wheeled motorsport as a part of the Indy-adjacent CART series was admittedly brief. However, we got to watch the German automaker do some impressive engineering thanks to it. A prime example is this 90-degree, 2.65-liter V8 built for the 1987 Indy Car World Series. It was developed for the automaker's open-wheeled 2708 racer, but now the 800-horsepower unit is for sale by RM Sotheby's, minus its turbocharger.

The engine is being sold as a part of Sotheby's Monterey auction, taking place at Pebble Beach 2023. Estimated to be sold for between $80,000 and $100,000, it's a unique piece of American motorsports history. It's one of the few engines destined for the brand's own factory effort, which saw little success on the track but represents one of the few times Porsche ventured head-first into the open-wheeled arena.

Only three 2708 chassis were built by Porsche itself in Weissach, which makes engines intended to power the cars relatively rare. The automaker later partnered with March to build several more chassis to race in the CART series, but once again saw relatively little success challenging established brands in the space, like Chevrolet.

The quad-cam 32-valve engine itself revs out to over 11,000 RPM and runs on methanol. It was developed by legendary Porsche engine designer Hans Mezger, who developed several other racing powerplants for the brand. He also led the design effort on the air-cooled flat-six engine for the first 911, released in 1964.

The missing turbocharger will make any theoretical swap difficult—as if anyone is crazy enough to buy a six-figure engine for a crazy idea like that—but one could certainly be obtained, likely at another RM Sotheby's auction, if the buyer wanted a complete package. Really, this engine is best suited to be rigged up for display. It's a unique piece of motorsports history more than an enticing powerplant to hack into a vehicle. If you want 800 hp for your build, throw turbos on an LS. They love that kind of thing. As for this engine, it's best suited for a life under the lights in a museum or personal collection.

Bidding for the engine will begin on Thursday, August 17th, 2023.

Got a tip? Email us at tips@thedrive.com

CultureFor SaleNews by BrandPorsche NewsRacing