The 4.0-liter engine from the 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 won't find its way into a 911.
We all thought Porsche was leaning in hard with turbocharging after it converted its entire 911 Carrera range to forced induction with the 991.2 generation facelift. The Stuttgart-based brand preserved its naturally aspirated mills for the GT3 models but, to everyone's surprise, a variation of the free-breathing 4.0-liter flat-six mill managed to find its way in the smaller 718 Cayman and Boxster GTS range.
This engine replaced the turbocharged 2.5-liter turbocharged flat-four which garnered complaints from die-hard Porsche loyalists, predominately because of how it sounded. The inclusion of the more traditional engine was so well-received that some started to ask the question of whether we'd ever get to see it in a mainline 911 offering, with recent rumors suggesting that might happen. Sadly, that's not the case.
In an interview with Frank-Steffen Walliser, Porsche's board member responsible for 911 and 718 development, Australian publication Car Expert asked the question and received a disappointing answer: "no."
As it turns out, the 4.0-liter engine used in the 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 was not developed with any other model in mind and shares very little with the motor of the same displacement found in the 911 GT3 and 718 Cayman GT4 RS. Originally, it was envisioned for use in more applications, but rapidly changing legislation put the kibosh on that.
Walliser maintains that "it was not a wrong decision" to only develop this engine for one model, citing the engine as a marvel and explaining how "customer response was over the moon," giving the Cayman and Boxster "a second life."
That means the particular 4.0-liter engine in question is living on borrowed time and will be phased out around 2025 when the 718 goes electric. When it does, it will maintain a mid-engined feel due to battery placement mimicking the weight balance of a conventional combustion powertrain. Walliser confirms this by saying "The most important thing is controlling the weight of an electric car, engineering emotion from the car." Porsche wants to create a "nimble, relatively small car" with "nice proportions," says Walliser.
As for the 911, recent test mules clearly misled more than just a few of us. But With the 911 not going electric anytime soon, we can look forward to more years of turbocharged combustion to come, and even a high-powered plug-in hybrid with more power than a Turbo S.