Mercedes Porsche Mechanic | Midtown Auto Repair | Services | Sacramento
Porsche is one of the last mass-production manufacturers to use what is called a boxer engine. A boxer engine, also known as the flat engine, gets its name from the movement of the engine pistons. The horizontally opposed pistons move inwards and outwards simultaneously, creating the appearance of two boxers trading punches and counter punches. Almost all other automakers have chosen to part ways with the boxer engine but Porsche continues to manufacture with boxer engines for various reasons.
One of the primary advantages of employing boxer engines is improved dynamics. A boxer engine has a lower center of mass. This means that it can be mounted well below the engine compartment. A lower center of mass improves overall stability and reduces body roll. Porsche’s early flat-six 901 boxer engine, for example, was highly modular. A single piston or valve failure did not mean having to replace an entire block or head just because of a piston or valve failure.
Another advantage of boxer engines is that they run cooler. Heat dissipation is way better due to their relatively large surface area. The large, horizontal surface area makes it easier to cool since the coolant does not have to fight gravity.
The biggest downside to a boxer engine is that costs are further increased by the fact that boxer engines use oil very inefficiently without a dry-sump system. With car consumers now looking for the most efficient cars at the cheapest price, boxer engines have become almost extinct across the industry. Porsche, however, still finds success manufacturing with boxer engines simply because that is what their consumers are looking for. A sporty, powerful, and dynamic car. They are willing to pay all extra costs because a boxer engine is what they want.
In closing, the boxer engine is hard to come by but Porsche has continued to manufacture with it because that is what their market demands.
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