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This Lanzante Porsche 930 is powered by a GP-winning F1 Engine

Whenever I hear of an outlandish 911 build, I always wonder what hardcore 911 would think. In my experience, they tend to love tradition and preserving the 911 legacy. This car breaks two of the holy trinity of classic 911's; rear engined, flat-six, and air-cooled. It is still rear engined but it uses a V6, water-cooled engine. But I can't imagine a single 911 fan being upset about this.

You see, this isn't just any water-cooled V6 engine. It is a Formula 1 twin-turbocharged 1.5 litre V6 out of a McLaren MP4/3 F1 car. Further preserving the Porsche-ness of this build, the engine was built by a partnership formed between Porsche and TAG to provide engines for McLaren F1 team. Porsche was responsible for the technical burden of design and engineering and TAG financed the effort and stuck its name on the engine as "TAG turbo" since McLaren didn't want Porsche's name on their F1 car.

Lanzante first revealed the car in October last year shortly after the annual Porsche Rennsport Reunion, but very few details details were known. Thankfully, PistonHeads went to Lanzante's workshop and found out a whole lot more about it.

The Engine

Given that this was the 80's and F1 rules were not nearly as limiting as today, the engine made 1,060 hp with a 12,600 rpm redline (although it was run at 960 hp in race spec). For reference, today's F1 turbocharged V6 engines displace slightly more volume at 1.6 litres and are limited to 15,000 rpm redline by rules (although most are running them lower for fuel efficiency and reliability). The power output is much lower, however, being under 800 hp for all engines (2017) without KERS, but it approaches 1,000 hp with KERS.

Of course, today's engines are far more efficient but there is something fascinating about a 30+ year old engine that is smaller, revs lower, yet makes more power, a testament to the madness of F1 back then.

The Challenges

The idea of putting an F1 engine in a road car is magnificent all on its own, but it goes beyond just finding enough room to shove the engine back there. Lanzante didn't want this to just be a mad exercise. Fitting a V6 - and a tall one at that - in the back of a 911 that was never meant to fit something taller than a flat six is a challenge in its own right, but perhaps an even bigger challenge is providing it with enough cooling for engine coolant, oil, and intercoolers.

Providing enough cooling to an engine in the back is not easy. Just look at a modern (992) 911 with a turbocharged engine (that is nowhere near this highly strung) and you'll find wide haunches with inlets and vents fore and aft of the wheels. Without that much real estate in a 930 and no previous water-cooling plumbing to work with, Lanzante designed a custom system.

There is a radiator at the front of the car with coolant piped to it from the engine and back. To get enough air, Lanzante used a bumper from a 911 SE flatnose with the centre section feeding the radiator and the two side openings meant to house fog lights feeding oil coolers. At the back, there appears to be a large air to air intercooler to bring down charge air temperature after the turbos, before making its way to the manifold.

Engine Specs

And you will need a lot of charge air cooling because the engine is running at a massive peak boost of 43.5 psi (3.0 bar or 300 kPa). For reference, the new (992) 911 Carrera S will run at only 16.0 psi (1.1 bar pr 110 kPa) and make 450 hp. Speaking of power, this engine is substantially detuned to "only" 503 hp and 310 lb-ft torque (375 kW and 420 Nm). This isn't because of design limitations or slowing down the car, though. It's simply for reliability.

F1 engines are highly strung and require meticulous (and regular) maintenance. Race car engines, in general, require far more frequent rebuilds than road cars - with length of time between builds often measured in hours instead of miles. F1 cars were even more demanding back then. Lanzante wanted the car to be usable so they got Cosworth involved to improve the reliability and longevity of the engine. The sky-high 43.5 psi peak boost is actually 25% LOWER than race spec, which ran at 58 psi (4.0 bar or 400 kPa). Cosworth also fit smaller turbos, so they will build boost faster and reduce lag.

Air-fuel ratios were also adjusted to make them more conservative (likely richer than race spec) and torque curve is fairly flat, with peak available across 50% of the rev range. And speaking of rev range, redline was also lowered to 9,000 rpm.

I don't know about you, but I'm just completely mesmerized by the notion of power being "lowered" to 503 hp. Peak boost is "lowered" to 43.5 psi. Redline being "lowered" to 9,000 rpm. There are constant reminders of the massive feat that Lanzante and Cosworth are doing here to put an F1 engine in a road car and the achievement that it is to be able to drive a car powered by a (modified) F1 engine on the road.

The two main goals was to make it useable and flexible, hence the flat torque curve and lowered output and redline. Making an F1 engine last is no easy challenge. Even the new Mercedes AMG Project One will require rebuilds every 50,000 km (31,068.5 mi) according to Mercedes.

What About The Rest of The Car?

Attention didn't just go to the powertrain, as you'd expect. The suspension is all new using coilovers that Lanzante is tuning to make the car more forgiving but still retain the characteristic 911 handling. The brakes are likely to be all carbon cermaic. The tires are new Pirelli PZero 255/40/17 in the back and 225/40/17 in the front wrapped around the original 17" RUF wheels.

And Lanzante (unsurprisingly) wanted to bring weight down further so there are lightweight components throughout, chief of which are the hood and rear engine cover which are made out of carbon fibre. The doors skins are made out of aluminum. Combined with a 220 lb. (100 kg) saving due to the lighter engine, the car is said to be about 518 lb. (235 kg) lighter than the original, at a curb weight of 2,425 lb. (1,100 kg). If you've been paying attention, that gives it a power-to-weight ratio of 457 hp/tonne (4.82 lb./hp) - as close as makes no difference the same as 991 GT2 RS. Top speed? 200 mph.

Handling all that power is a G50/20 6-speed gearbox, which was used in the 993 generation 911. Lanzante is also fitting them with a limited-slip differential to manage power delivery. But there is a clear effort to make the car look as close to original as possible, concealing all the brilliant engineering underneath. That means only original Porsche colours and trims will be offered and, short of Recaro Pole Positions and custom gauges (including an awesome 10,000 rpm gauge), the interior looks period correct as well.

It'll Set You (very far) Back...

If you were expecting this to be expensive, you are absolutely correct. It'll cost you £1.095 million ($1.450 million USD) if you want one of them. And even if you have the money, you can't just phone Lanzante or visit their shop and buy one. Lanzante will hand pick the buyers who are more likely to drive and enjoy the car; take it to different events to showcase the work, much like what Ford has been doing with the new Ford GT.

But one thing Ford can't do is claim they have a winning F1 engine in the back. Not even Mercedes can claim that with the AMG Project One. This is because - as mentioned at the beginning - this car will use actual F1 engines that have raced. Lanzante is building 11 of them and all but 2 cars will use engines that have raced. Names like Niki Lauda and Alain Prost are among those who've driven one of the engines. Multiple of them had several podium finishes. The one on display is powered by an engine that can claim a Grand Prix win.

The fact that a relatively tiny team of two builders can achieve what a giant like Mercedes is trying to do is massively impressive. Of course, it doesn't hurt when such team includes the experience and collective knowledge of famed builders like Lanzante and Cosworth, but that just adds to the pedigree of the build. It is simply one of the coolest cars I have ever heard of. The end result is far greater than the sum of its parts and there will never be another car like it because Lanzante bought all the engines they could get from McLaren.

What do you think of it? Would you rather a far less expensive 911 restomod using a proper flat six or does this TAG-Porsche F1 V6 engine make it even more desirable?

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