Where the music comes from

The engine block of the Porsche 911 GT 3

It’s the iconic sports car par excellence. Even non-sports-car enthusiasts rave about the Porsche. What’s more, a fiercely dedicated fan club has grown up around the car during the nearly fifty years of its existence, whose deepseated enthusiasm for the 911 once led “Die Welt” Editor-in-Chief and Porsche connoisseur Ulf Poschardt to describe it as a “civil religious Elfertum”, though beeing much more than just a community of birds of a feather.

Based in Zuffenhausen – the district of Stuttgart that is home to Porsche – the makers of this unmistakable vehicle have always known how to keep the legend going with new variants and engine designs, very much in the spirit of the classical composers who produce endless variations on a theme, breathing new life into a single musical motif. One of these proverbially dynamic variants is the Porsche 911 GT 3. The sports car, which starts at over 150,000 EUR, is approved for use on the road but loves the racetrack like a bear loves honey. The engine block of this rocket on wheels – the 911 GT 3 goes from O to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds – is cast at KS HUAYU AluTech GmbH in Neckarsulm, and goes through multiple processing phases during production, including a trip to HUAYU Bearbeitungs GmbH in Hannover-Langenhagen for finishing work. The result: a 500 h.p. (or 368 kilowatt) engine that speaks for itself, fully capable of bringing the vehicle to a top speed of around 320 km/h.

A long-standing link with Porsche

The history of the specialist for lightweight aluminum engine blocks has long been entwined with that of Porsche, whose engineers turned to the aluminum experts in Neckarsulm for the cylinder crankcases of the 996 and 997, the latest generation’s forerunners.

The current Boxer engine blocks of the Porsche 911 GT 3 and the newly minted 911 GT 3 RS are completely comparable with those of the rest of the family. The second generation of the 911 family also features the so-called 9A1 aggregate, giving it a comparable base engine. What sets it apart from the series version is the altered water jacket – components specially designed to meet the high-performance requirements – and altered initial mechanical processing techniques. In the first model generation, the cylinder crankcase consisted entirely of Alusil.

ALUSIL POSSESSES SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS WITH REGARD TO STRENGTH, ELASTICITY, AND THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY

This was due to the alloy’s special characteristics with regard to strength, elasticity, and thermal conductivity. The second generation supplied since last year, contains an additional RSW coating, which stands for “rotating single wire.” Here, following initial mechanical processing, a special plasma procedure is used to apply the coating to the running surfaces, resulting in an engine block weighing roughly one kilo less than in the Carrera, GTS or Turbo.

Enormously hard material

In order to do this, KS HUAYU first had to achieve clear process reliability for the coating procedure. For the KS HUAYU development team, owing to the tremendous hardness of the heat-treated material, the necessary roughening of the Alusil surfaces prior to coating was no minor matter. Furthermore, a new processing technology for the crankcase bore had to be developed and implemented. The engine blocks then head north. At the Langenhagen plant, the last work steps take place, including final processing of the running surfaces and finishing of the blocks. “We appreciate the strong cooperation with our colleagues in Hanover, which after all is where a very important step in the processing sequence takes place,” notes Dr. Christian Klimesch, Vice President Development at KS HUAYU. Nor does the Hanover plant’s experience in this domain derive solely from the past: the engine blocks for the fastest series-produced Porsche, the 911 GT 2 RS, likewise undergo final processing there. It’s a lot of work, but the outcome is well worth the effort, something which not just 911 fans will confirm.