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Geneva show: New engine for Porsche Boxster/Cayman

Flat stick: Porsche’s popular Boxster/Cayman pairing will come under the 718-series banner – a nod to sportscars of the same name from the 1950s and 60s.

All-new turbocharged boxer four-pot for small sporty Porsches in 2016

10 Dec 2015

PORSCHE will extend its turbo tenet in 2016 when it adds an all-new blown engine family to its Boxster/Cayman combo.

A four-cylinder horizontally-opposed engine range – also known as a flat or boxer four – will make its debut in the facelifted Cayman and Boxster, which will both debut at the Geneva Show in March.

The flat-four-powered Porsche coupe and convertible now bears the 718-series moniker, which harks back to the model that enjoyed motorsport success in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

While Porsche has released few official details, the new engine range is likely to stay within the confines of the mid-engined sportscars’ line-up, which currently includes four engine specifications.

“We can’t say too much about it (the 718) yet,” said Porsche Australia director of public relations and motorsport Paul Ellis. “We won’t be announcing details until the new year.”

Mr Ellis confirmed that the engine is a new one for the company.

“It’s an all-new generation of engine, and it’ll be a new era for us,” Mr Ellis told GoAuto. “In terms of details like outputs and capacities, it’s still a bit early to start speculating on that.”

The current 981 Boxster/Cayman comes with four engine variants the base car is powered by a 2.7-litre six-cylinder boxer making 195kW-202kW, the S runs a 3.4-litre version of the same engine making 232kW-239kW, while the GTS’s 3.4-litre six makes 243kW-250kW, depending on whether it is the hard-top or drop-top.

The Cayman GT4 uses a naturally aspirated 3.8-litre six from the previous 911 family that is good for 283kW.

Overseas reports indicate that the new flat four family will comprise of 1.6-litre, 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre options, while the hi-po 3.8-litre flat six will be retained for the most sporting of applications.

Mr Ellis said he does not foresee any issues around customers accepting a smaller turbocharged powerplant in the Boxster/Cayman combo.

“People said 911 would be dead when we went to watercooled (engines), and people said we wouldn’t sell the (911) GT3 without a manual transmission, and it’s exceed our expectations five-fold,” he said.

“I don’t think we’ll get any resistance.”

A new sports car designed to sit below the Cayman/Boxster duo – tentatively known as the 551 – has been rumoured, and would be a natural platform for a small-capacity four-cylinder engine.

“There’s been speculation about a smaller car, but I don’t think it’s on the priority list at the moment,” said Mr Ellis.

The packaging of the new engine will preclude it from seeing duty in other Porsche vehicles such as the Macan, while the 911 has only just been upgraded with a new six-cylinder turbo engine.

Porsche has sold 182 Boxsters and 191 Caymans to the end of November, dips of eight and ten per cent respectively year-on-year.

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