Porsche is part of the VAG, Volkswagen Auto Group, which means that some of its parts are shared with VW, Audi, Škoda, Seat, Bentley, Lamborghini, and even Bugatti. Parts sharing is a common thing between lots of manufacturers, as it cuts the costs down by a significant margin.
Some companies out there like Aston Martin are fully independent, but they are bound to pay other manufacturers like Mercedes huge sums of money to literally copy and paste last-gen Mercedes infotainment systems because they are not able to fully develop their own system.
If you are part of the VAG, this type of thing is much more convenient. You just share contemporary parts and reskin them, and 99% of customers will never even notice. For a spot of context, I drive a 2018 Audi A3, and the steering wheel in my A3 looks suspiciously similar to the one found in the new Bentley Continental.
That being said, while Porsche does share lots of parts with the rest of the VAG, the engines are usually shared with Audi, and not VW. Some older Porsche models shared their engines with some VW models, but not so much in recent years, until now.
VAG engine sharing
The Porsche Panamera Turbo and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo have the same engine. This comes as no surprise as both of these cars are indeed Porsches. More surprising might be that the Audi RS6, RS7, S8, RSQ8 also use the very same engine as the one found in both Porsche models.
In addition to Audi and Porsche, even Lamborghini and Bentley use the same 8-cylinder engine. So basically, the entirety of VAG’s performance division uses the same engine, a 4.0L V8 with 500-650hp. The reason why this engine is shared by such a large variety of models is associated with the costs needed to develop a new engine.
Thanks to ever more rigorous noise and emissions regulations, car manufacturers are forced to develop smaller, less exciting engines. But there is no replacement for displacement, which means that it costs a lot more to develop a V8 than it does to develop a 6- or a 4-cylinder engine.
There are also many other engine sharing examples between the different manufacturers in VAG, such as the Audi RS3 and the new Cupra Formentor. Both of these share a 5-cylinder engine with around 400hp.
Porsche 6-cylinder engines
Porsche is a brand widely known for its 6-cylinder engines, such as the flat sixes found in a number of amazing 911s throughout the years. Porsche develops and sells these engines exclusively, and there is no engine sharing with other brands, not right now at least.
It’s fairly understandable that Porsche will never share these engines with other VAG brands because they truly do define modern and historic Porsches alike. A flat-six is a piece of core 911 identity, and as such, they should be exclusive and reserved for Porsche models only.
Porsche has a long-lasting history of building 6-cylinder engines. The first 911 models were offered with air-cooled flat sixes. Later with the 996 generation, Porsche made the transition towards water-cooled flat-six engines.
Such engines have sometimes found their way into other Porsche models such as the Cayman GT4 or the Boxster GTS/Boxster Spyder. This is understandable as the Cayman/Boxster platform completely transitioned towards smaller 4-cylinder engines except in just a couple of higher-end models.
Current Porsche/VW parts sharing
Back in 2009, VAG decided that it was time for most VAG manufacturers to share parts even more consistently. Due to ever increasing costs of developing newer engines because of extremely rigorous emissions regulations, Porsche, a VAG manufacturer known for developing great engines, was first to bend the knee.
The new VW Tuareg R model shares its entire powertrain with the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid. The power figures between these models are identical, 455hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Even the towing capacity is the same at 7.7k pounds.
This type of parts sharing is only going to increase in the future. For example, the new gear lever found in the new 992 Porsche 911 is pretty much the same as the one found in the VW Golf GTI, and the infotainment systems of all VAG brands are built on the very same underpinnings.
Lots of other parts are shared too, such as the rear bumper of the last-gen Porsche Macan and the 2017 VW Golf R facelift. One benefit of parts sharing is that it should, in theory, increase reliability. But as long as the flat-six remains Porsche-only, which it should, we don’t have to worry all that much about Porsche losing its luxury appeal.
A decade or so ago, VAG decided to develop modular chassis types that could be shared between many brands residing under the VAG umbrella. And as such, the VAG MQB platform was born.
The first generation of the MQB platform was revealed in 2012, and the Audi Q2, Audi A3, Seat Leon, Volkswagen Arteon, Škoda Octavia, and many others were using the very same underpinnings. The Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga, and the VW Touareg also share the same chassis, and it is pretty obvious.
After the Tesla Model S, the Porsche Taycan and the Audi E-Tron GT are the most popular EV sedans on the market right now. And, yes, both of these are built on the very same platform using the very same powertrain with minor adjustments due to market positioning.
The Taycan is a bit more expensive and a bit more powerful, but all in all, both of their chassis are more or less the same. And the similarities are rather obvious when you park the Taycan and the E-Tron side by side.
Yes, they do. For example, the Chevy Silverado and the GMC Sierra duo is a clear example of how far some brands stretch it. These two are almost identical design-wise, powertrain-wise and options-wise, even though Chevy and GMC try to differentiate between them as much as possible.
Developing cars is expensive, and some aspects, such as headlights, can cost an obscene amount of money to develop. And as such, even the Lamborghini Diablo used a set of Nissan headlights to lower its costs. The $20m McLaren F1, for example, uses the very same taillights as the ones found on a London bus.