The vast majority of cars on Australian roads these days have one of only a handful of engine configurations. Most are packing inline-fours, many have V6s, and the V8 remains a byword for performance (even if affordable V8s are an increasingly rare breed Down Under).
Then you get into the unusual stuff. Boxer engines, inline fives, rotary engines… What about even stranger fare, like VR6s or W16s? Forget all that. There’s something even more oddball: the Y3. That’s right, radial engines for cars.
South Australian firm Bespoke Engineering, through their brand Radial Motion, has come up with a novel three-cylinder radial motorsport engine that’s quite unlike any crate engine you’ll find on the planet.
They’ve teamed up with a Sydney-based Porsche nut who’s dropped one of these bonkers engines into a highly modified classic Porsche 356 coupe, in what’s widely regarded to be a world first. We’ve seen a lot of cool Porsche builds in our time but the ‘Aero 356’ might just be the coolest.
Check out the world’s first radial-engined Porsche below.
A radial engine might seem like an outlandish thing to power a car with – typically, you only see them being used in planes – but it actually makes a lot of sense. Radial Motion’s motor is compact, internally rather simple and capable of some impressive power figures: naturally-aspirated, it’s good for about 95kW per litre.
On a somewhat less rational level, it also looks and sounds amazing. The way the lower two cylinders of the engine hang below the Aero 356’s body line is pretty awesome… And we’d love to see the look on your average punter’s face when the owner pops the boot to reveal a plane engine instead of a flat-four.
Currently, Radial Motion offers either a 2.0 or 2.1L three-cylinder option, but they’re apparently working on a 4.0L six-cylinder engine, too. They’re not cheap, these engines, with prices starting from AU$35,000. But can you really put a price on being the coolest cat at your local Cars and Coffee?
Check out the rest of the Aero 356 build on Instagram here.