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Porsche Proves Its Loyalty To Naturally Aspirated Flat-Sixes

Sports Car / Comments

Forget turbos. Forget hybrids. Porsche understands.

Porsche will soon reveal its first-ever all-electric model, the Taycan sedan, but it still remains deeply committed to internal combustion and naturally aspirated engines. Case in point: the new 718 Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder. Both are purist sports car powered by a new NA 4.0-liter flat-six rated at 414 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque. The only gearbox offered (for now) is a six-speed manual. Not exactly sports cars for beginners. But what does the future hold for this engine? Given the fact it's all-new, wouldn't it make sense for Porsche to make further use of it in other models?

CarThrottle spoke with Porsche GT division boss Andreas Preuninger this past weekend at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed and his words regarding this subject are music to our ears.

"Actually it's a bespoke new engine - it's from the 9A2 family and we call it the 'Evo'," he said. "We made a new crankcase, new cylinder heads, new pistons, new crankshaft, new rods." Now, this is a lot of engineering work to do for a pair of relatively low-volume niche models. A serious amount of time and money was invested here, so wouldn't it make sense to use the 'Evo' engine elsewhere? Absolutely. "It's a massive effort [to develop the engine]," Preuninger added. "We believe in normally-aspirated engines, especially for cars in that niche - puristic cars. To be frank with you, we can use this engine in the future for other models maybe as well."

Would this include non-GT Porsches? "We have to see," is all Preuninger was willing to say.

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Within the next couple of years or so, the next generation 718 Boxster and Cayman are due to arrive, but details regarding both are nearly non-existent at the moment. Given Preuninger's words, however, is there a possibility this NA flat-six will appear in the successors? After all, it does comply with the most up to date noise and Euro6 emissions regulations, which are typically even stricter than what the EPA requires.

Obviously we're only speculating here but since this lovely 4.0 flat-six already has millions invested and meets various regulations, why not apply it elsewhere? The next 718 twins would be prime candidates.