A special rig simulates a lap of hard driving around the Nurburgring to ensure the engine is up to the task of performing under pressure.
It's all very well building a car that can go fast, but when said vehicle can't handle the extreme conditions that come with high-performance driving, it's pointless. Porsche has a reputation for building durable sports cars that can take a beating, as we were reminded by the video below, which demonstrates the firm's oil sump test rig.
In 2009, the German automaker facelifted the 911 (997) and introduced revised flat-six engines. To show just what these motors were made of, the company showed just how durable these powerplants were by subjecting them to what can only be described as torture. Strapped onto the test rig, the engines are pushed to their limits as a simulation pivots the test unit in every direction.
Knowing Porsche, there's an excellent reason for this.
The system actually simulates a lap around the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife, pushing the engine to its limits as it's subjected to strong g-forces. This may seem like overkill to some, but it tests the engine on several levels. Firstly, it puts severe strain on the internal components, and the test is an excellent way to see how the various bits hold up to hard driving - even though some Porsches just meander down the coast, many are driven hard.
Secondly (and more importantly), the automaker can evaluate the oiling system and its ability to move oil through the engine even when the vehicle is tilted or subjected to immense g-forces. Like many Porsches, the 997 generation of the 911 uses an integrated dry sump.
This features an oil reservoir within the engine case. Porsche uses this setup as it is supposed to provide superior engine cooling while pumping oil through four scavenge pumps.
Interestingly, the hardcore GT2 RS, GT3, and GT3 RS used a dry sump with an external reservoir. These vehicles also had seven pumps compared to lesser models.
Porsche has a well-deserved reputation for building over-engineered, dependable sports cars that are just as comfortable doing the school run as navigating the Laguna Seca corkscrew. This unrelenting commitment to perfection extends even to its SUVs. The Cayenne has been designed to be as tough as old boots and can chase a Range Rover through the mud before hanging onto a BMW on a winding stretch of tarmac without breaking a sweat.
This also explains why even older models from the '70s and '80s can genuinely be enjoyed as everyday classic cars. We'd love to see how engines from other marques hold up to this machine. We have a feeling things wouldn't go so well.
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