It’s a tantalising prospect, isn’t it? Envisioning the perfect engine and then commissioning the best people in the motoring industry to design and build it.
Californian classic Porsche recreator Singer Vehicle Design has responded to a request from a longtime customer and drafted Williams Advanced Engineering and legendary Porsche engineer Hans Mezger to do exactly that. And the result is just stupefyingly good.
The air-cooled engine started life as a 1990s-era 3.6-litre flat-six, much as you’d find in a 964 Carrera. Singer has form here, using this block as the basis for many of their creations. Bringing Williams into the equation, armed with a brief to boost power and cut weight, unleashed a maelstrom of F1-style obsessive compulsive overkill of the best possible kind.
A four-valve head appears, as do titanium conrods, aluminium throttle bodies and dual oil circuits, lifting power from an original 184kW to a massive 373kW, that figure ultimately pinioned by a stratospheric 9000rpm redline. That’s in addition to the new carbonfibre airbox and resonator, the ram-air system and a titanium exhaust system.
These mods bring a new aesthetic to the usual Singer treatment. The beautiful individual throttle trumpets we’ve become used to have been covered by the carbon intake system, while the twin centrally mounted exhaust outlets have been replaced by a pair of pipes set further outboard.
In order to assist in the development of the engine, Williams and Singer enlisted the help of Hans Mezger. Yes, the same guy who developed the engines for the 911 Turbo, GT2, and GT3. If you’re still doubting his bona fides, he also designed the TAG Porsche TTE P01 turbo engine that, in the McLaren MP4s of Niki Lauda and Alain Prost, was the dominant F1 power unit of the mid-1980s.
Rob Dickinson, the founder and CEO of Singer, masterminded this project at the behest of loyal client Scott Blattner. Developing a normally-aspirated air-cooled roadgoing unit with the power of a modern GT3’s engine hasn’t been easy but Singer’s customer base is attracted to this depth of detailed engineering.
“Helping our clients realise their unique vision for a reimagined Porsche 911 with the help of automotive royalty is very much a privilege,” said Dickinson. “Singer is delighted to be working with Williams Advanced Engineering and Hans Mezger to offer our clients a “next level” of restoration and modification services for their Porsche 911s. With careful and dedicated development, this iconic air-cooled engine has much to give both its existing devotees and a generation of new enthusiasts.”
The car is set to get a full reveal in September, wearing the flared rear guards seen in these com-gen images. Given Singer’s closely-guarded client confidentiality no price has been quoted for this special commission, but the Williams-enhanced components are set to be offered to other Singer customers.
The average bill for a Singer-restored 911 currently stands in the region of USD$600,000, so a car with this engine would likely top the USD $1m mark. What price perfection?