Porsche's Oil-Sump Test Rig Is a Sight to Behold
Porsche sports cars have earned a reputation for being able to handle pretty serious abuse on track. That isn't by accident, with entire teams of folks in Weissach dedicated to pushing every component to its limit. This engine oil sump test rig, seen here testing the 997's flat-six, is a shining example of what that sort of obsessive engineering looks like in practice.
With the debut of the 997.2 generation of 911 in 2009, Porsche unveiled two new flat-six engines to power the Carrera and Carrera S models. The former measured in at 3.6 liters, and provided the basic 911 with 340 horsepower. The Carrera S saw displacement jump to 3.8 liters, which brought an additional 40 horsepower over the small motor. Both engines utilize an integrated dry sump oiling system, which features an oil reservoir within the case of the engine itself. This setup theoretically provides better engine cooling properties than a traditional dry sump with an external reservoir, while ensuring the engine is never hurting for oil in high performance situations. Four separate scavenge pumps move the oil throughout the engines, while a fifth pressure pump keeps the system up to spec. Porsche says the system scavenged three horsepower from both flat-sixes.
Of course this sort of system requires some testing. Knowing full well that their customers like to push their cars, a simple test wouldn’t suffice for Porsche. The automaker instead opted to use the gyroscopic rig you see above, which uses telemetry data to simulate the forces an engine will face on the Nordschleife. The amount of pitch and yaw that the engine experiences during testing is crazy to behold, and only goes to highlight how extreme a lap of the Ring really is. It doesn't hurt that the flat-six sounds ridiculously good as it pushes its way to redline, never once bothered that its been rotated nearly 90 degrees. It makes you wonder how quickly you could kill a more pedestrian powertrain after hooking it up to one of these rigs.
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