Porsche will rename its entry twins the ‘718’ Cayman and Boxster next year as flat-four turbocharged engines are confirmed for the facelifted duo.
Porsche is shouting from the rooftops that it has history with four-cylinder engines, with the 718 designation reviving the name of the 1957 successor to the 550 Spyder that took multiple honours at Sebring, Targa Florio and Le Mans. Today, the brand also uses a 2.0-litre turbo V4 to power its Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid LMP1 racecar.
Apparently we shouldn’t be afraid of a Cayman and Boxster with four cylinders. That’s now the order we’ll know them in, too, because for the first time Porsche says, “the roadster will be positioned at a higher price level than the coupe – as is done for the 911 models.”
The 718 duo will be released “over the course of 2016” but neither are expected to drop substantially in price compared with the existing $104,500 Boxster and $106,200 Cayman.
Rather than the four-banger being a budget entry-level grade, Porsche says that, “In the future, both will have equally powerful four-cylinder flat engines with turbocharging.”
Sources indicate the base Cayman/Boxster will get a 2.0-litre flat-four turbo while the Cayman S/Boxster S will score a 2.5-litre version of the same modular engine family.
Each are expected to improve on the 202kW/290Nm maximum of the existing 2.7-litre flat six-cylinder (in Cayman) and 250kW/380Nm peak of the current 3.4-litre flat six (as in the Cayman GTS).
The equivalent Boxster will no longer cop marketing-led, nominally lesser outputs, either.
The Volkswagen Group currently produces in-line four-cylinder turbo engines of 2.0-litre capacity with beyond 200kW and 380Nm, while the in-line five-cylinder turbo engine of 2.5-litre capacity in the Audi RS3 makes 270kW and 465Nm.
Porsche will play a tricky balancing act to look competitive within the Group, without impinging on the 272kW/450Nm and 309kW/500Nm outputs of the new 3.0-litre turbocharged flat six-cylinder in the latest 911 Carrera.
Either way, expect sizeable consumption reductions from the existing figures – 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres for both atmo 2.7- and 3.4-litre – that are higher than the substantially more powerful 3.0-litre turbo.
Loftier versions of the 718 Boxster and Cayman, such as GTS and Spyder, will likely get the 911’s turbo six, though the hardcore Spyder and GT4 iterations will almost certainly stay with naturally aspirated units.
Either way, expect a faster and fitter mid-engined Porsche roadster and coupe sometime next year.
Note: existing Cayman S pictures shown.
Get your free weekly report from the world of fast cars - subscribe to the MOTOR newsletter!