George McMillan, local independent Porsche Specailist, held a special technical evening for the MG Car Club at his premesis in Ballyclare on 50 years of the Porsche 911. More specifically on Porsche’s engine design from the early air-cooled four cylinder engines to todays petrol-electric hybrids.
The evening was very informative, with several examples of 911s in the workshop; engines both built and disassembled for everyone to look at, as George took us through the history along with his own experiences at the Porsche factory and working for a local main dealer, up to his present day specialist work.
One of the most notable parts of the night was the discussions on the electrical system, an example of which we saw in part assembly from a Porsche Cayenne Hybrid. The batteries are around 200v, with a transformer bringing up to 700v to the three motors that would drive the vehicle and kinetic regeneration to immediately recharge as soon as the car decelerates. George noted that when the batteries were low, the vehicle in certain modes could start the engine to charge… and that to the uninitiated service technician say half way through an oil change, could get a nasty surprise!
Everyone stayed after the talk to get a good look around the various Stuttgart born beasts (although I now know the mk1 Boxster was outsourced to Finland) and the cold weather was kept at bay by the local coffee company providing hot drinks and shortbread on site!
Keep an eye out for further talks by George; this and the Toyota GT86 technical evening he arranged last year were superb and they are a must for any motoring enthusiast or engineering fan.