Porsche Working On A Smaller Engine


Porsche is currently developing a four-cylinder engine for use in a new entry-level model.

If thoughts of a four-cylinder Porsche make you cringe, you aren't alone. Porsche purists are haunted nightly by the ghost of the 924, and the car which represents one of Germany's most unfortunate badge-engineering projects is one of the first four-banger Porsche's that come to mind. When we received word that Porsche was working on a new four-cylinder engine, we were wary. That is, until we found out that it would be horizontally opposed.

A new Porsche flat-four doesn't put us in mind of the 924, but rather the 356, the 550 and even the short-lived 912... and the 914 also had one. The engine will be architecturally similar to the Porsche flat six, just with two fewer cylinders, and it will feature a low pressure turbo to give a wider torque plateau. There will be two different versions of the engine, one with a 2.0-liter displacement and one in 2.5-liter. The 2.5-liter is said to make 380 horsepower, a number which ought to keep the purists happy. The engine will be offered in base models of the Boxter and Cayman, but its primary duty will be in an all-new entry-level model.

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Porsche is telling us that this new car will be a spiritual successor of the 550 Spyder, but we think it's a bit unlikely that the entry-level Porsche will be made in the spirit of a race car. Though it will probably have some 550-inspired styling cues, we'd guess it will be more like a modern-day 356. That's something Porsche is probably uncomfortable saying since the car will probably, like the 356, use more VW parts than other models in the range. A new 356 still sounds exciting though, and whatever form it takes, we're looking forward to seeing it.