Deep in the bowels of Porsche's PEC Atlanta facility lies a very special room where only very special people can tread. Almost forty of Porsche's greatest engines of the last twenty years line the walls of the so-called engine room, spanning generations of sports cars. These engines are traditionally used as training vehicles for Porsche's technician training program. It's a treasure trove of excellent engineering, and the only thing that's sad about it is that we will never get to hear them roar!
“We have 38 engines at the moment,” says Porsche Academy Aftersales Training Manager Chris Gilman. “They all come straight from the production line in Germany, and they might as well have been in a car, but they never will be.”
Back in the mid-1980s Porsche began this program with just four engines, because that was all the company offered at the time. You had a 928 V8, a canted 4-cylinder from the 944, a 911 Carrera flat six, and the monster turbocharged version from the 930. Today Porsche offers a wide variety of engines, including two different turbocharged fours, a variety of six cylinder engines, both turbocharged and naturally aspirated, and a V8. On top of all the current spec engines, the engine room has some recent classic engines, like the 996 Turbo engine from 2001, and the venerable Type 980 Carrera GT V10.
Another facility, on the west coast, is used to train Porsche Classic technicians, and includes much older engines than the Atlanta facility. This includes a ‘69 911 two-liter flat-six with mechanical fuel injection and a three-liter inline four-cylinder from a 1992 Porsche 968.
I didn't know about this room before today, but now that I know it exists, I'm planning some kind of Ocean's 11-style heist to go snag myself a brand new V10. Come to think of it, I could find a use for that 996 Turbo engine, as well. Okay, so I just need 10 more classically-trained criminals to help me break into a highly-guarded Porsche facility. Send me an e-mail if you're interested. Competitive pay, naturally.