The naturally aspirated 4.0L in the new, 2020 Porsche 718 GTS models isn't going anywhere just yet.
There's good news for petrol-loving Porsche fans the world over: the German sports car manufacturer's naturally aspirated flat-six engine will stick around for at least several more years, even as the company ponders the implications of rising emissions restrictions and an increasingly electric-propulsion future.
That engine most recently made its way into the new Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman GTS models, displacing 4.0 liters and featuring a somewhat lower state of tune than in the Cayman GT4. And despite some reports that the Porsche and Boxster will soon be going pure-electric, Porsche brass have stated that this generation of entry-level sports cars will live on through at least 2024.
That gives Porsche's 4.0L flat-six a theoretical service life at least as long, although it could be extended even further so long as Porsche can sufficiently offset its emissions through electric vehicle sales.
Previously, Porsche's GTS models were powered by up-tuned 2.5L turbo-four engines, pumping out a max of 360 horsepower. The switch to a 394-horsepower version of the automaker's 4.0L flat-six gives that engine a new lease on life, with the promise for more sales volume than it could have hoped for in the comparatively niche, expensive Cayman GT4.
The new 2020 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS are stick shift-only for now, with standard mechanical limited-slip differentials, although a dual-clutch automatic transmission will join the fray early in 2021. We'd love to say that dual-clutch automatic won't threaten the six-speed manual's market share, but we know better.
Globally, there's been a growing policy shift toward low- and zero-emissions vehicles, with numerous countries announcing "expiration dates" for new internal combustion passenger car sales. Most recently, the United Kingdom announced that it would ban the sale of new gasoline passenger cars by 2035, moving the deadline up from 2050. Porsche responded by releasing its first battery-electric car for series production, the Taycan, last year, and more pure-electric Porsche models will follow.
Just so long as they don't spell the untimely end of Porsche's excellent N/A flat-six, we're happy.