Posted by: porschebahn | September 21, 2008

A one of a kind 917 with a 16 cylinder engine

Prior to developing the turbocharged 12 cylinder engine that would dominate the Can Am series, Porsche toyed with a normally aspirated 16 cylinder. Hanz Mezger designed this amazing engine under the direction of Ferdinand Piech.

The 7.2 liter produced 880 horsepower at 8,300 RPM and is the most powerful normally aspirated engine Porsche has produced. Mark Donahue tested the prototype on the Wiesach track and got the impression that the engine could have been turbocharged to 2,000 horsepower.

This car is the only prototype remaining and is usually in the Porsche Museum. I shot these pictures at Rennsport III. There is one other complete engine and it is also in the hands of the factory.

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