Porsche’s Flat-Four is in the Works, but Won’t See the Light of Day Any Time Soon

by Stephen de Vries 914 views0

This Boxster won’t ever make use of the flat-four Porsche is developing, but the next-gen Boxster likely will.

Several years after we reported on an upcoming flat-four engine by Porsche and a some six months after R&D chief Wolfgang Hatz confirmed such an engine, detailed reports on the powerplant are beginning to hit the web. According to Flat-6 News, the mill could be unveiled as soon as this year’s Frankfurt auto show.

A call to Stuttgart quickly produced yet another confirmation of the project’s ongoing status; the optimistic timeframe, however, was roundly dismissed. The engine will require significantly more time in development, and there are no plans to put it into the current generations of the relatively fresh Boxster or the brand-new Cayman. (A sub-Boxster, entry-level roadster—which has been reported as a potential recipient of the new flat-four—isn’t exactly dead, but it’s been put on hold indefinitely.) The new mill could arrive in naturally aspirated and turbocharged forms, and it will produce anywhere from around 250 horsepower to more than 350. The entry-level engine on offer in today’s Boxster and Cayman is a 2.7-liter flat-six, which makes 265 or 275 horsepower, respectively.

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Purists should have no issue with a possible move to a flat-four. The brand has a rich history with this engine concept. All 356 models and its racing derivatives such as the 550 and the 718 were fitted with flat-four engines, as was the 912 and the vast majority of 914s. The 924 and the 944 were equipped with in-line four-cylinder engines, some of the turbocharged.

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