Porsche's new four-cylinder engine family will produce up to 395 hp
We’ve seen a number of mainstream and luxury car manufacturers downsize their engines over the past few years in an aim to boost fuel economy while maintaining performance. Companies like Ford have jumped on the bandwagon with its EcoBoost engines, and even BMW has joined the fray by introducing a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to replace its naturally aspirated 3.0-liter straight-six.
It now looks as though Porsche too has been bitten by the fuel efficiency bug, and will add a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to its next generation Boxster and Cayman.
“We will continue with the downsizing strategy and develop a new four-cylinder boxer engine, which will see service in the next-generation Boxster and Cayman,” said Porsche CEO Matthias Muller, in a recent interview with Auto Motor und Sport. “We will not separate ourselves from efforts to reduce CO2.”
The Boxster and Cayman currently use normally aspirated flat-six engines that range from 2.7 to 3.4 liters, and generate up to 330 hp (in GTS trim). However, Muller says that the new turbocharged four-cylinder engine family will produce up to 395 hp and we should see dramatic increases in low-end torque as well.
Seeing as how the mid-engine Boxster and Cayman are all about handling first and foremost, they will use a flat-four engine (which lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity) instead of a run-of-the-mill inline-four. The engine will also be based on the flat-six used in the 911, so both engines can share parts and production facilities.
Besides improving efficiency and lowering emissions, lower-end four-cylinder engines could help Porsche lower the price of entry for the Boxster. When the 986 Boxster was introduced in ’96, it was priced at just under $40,000. The current 981 Boxster starts at $50,400 (although good luck finding a stripper Boxster).