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2015 Porsche Boxster GTS
Porsche's new four-cylinder engine family will produce up to 395 hp

We’ve seen a number of mainstream and luxury car manufacturers downsize their engines over the past few years in an aim to boost fuel economy while maintaining performance. Companies like Ford have jumped on the bandwagon with its EcoBoost engines, and even BMW has joined the fray by introducing a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to replace its naturally aspirated 3.0-liter straight-six.
It now looks as though Porsche too has been bitten by the fuel efficiency bug, and will add a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to its next generation Boxster and Cayman.
“We will continue with the downsizing strategy and develop a new four-cylinder boxer engine, which will see service in the next-generation Boxster and Cayman,” said Porsche CEO Matthias Muller, in a recent interview with Auto Motor und Sport. “We will not separate ourselves from efforts to reduce CO2.”
The Boxster and Cayman currently use normally aspirated flat-six engines that range from 2.7 to 3.4 liters, and generate up to 330 hp (in GTS trim). However, Muller says that the new turbocharged four-cylinder engine family will produce up to 395 hp and we should see dramatic increases in low-end torque as well.

2015 Porsche Cayman GTS
Seeing as how the mid-engine Boxster and Cayman are all about handling first and foremost, they will use a flat-four engine (which lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity) instead of a run-of-the-mill inline-four. The engine will also be based on the flat-six used in the 911, so both engines can share parts and production facilities.
Besides improving efficiency and lowering emissions, lower-end four-cylinder engines could help Porsche lower the price of entry for the Boxster. When the 986 Boxster was introduced in ’96, it was priced at just under $40,000. The current 981 Boxster starts at $50,400 (although good luck finding a stripper Boxster).

Source: Automotive News

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RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By BRB29 on 3/24/2014 12:23:02 PM , Rating: 2
Not really.

If you look at compressor maps for new turbos and compare them to old ones, the efficiency has increased only slightly in the last 30 years.

I said turbo engines, not just turbos. You're right about turbo efficiency. However, twin scroll turbos have matured and made considerable impact on turbo engines. It took the turbo lag away and half the piping necessary. Not to mention other things like oil lines. And now, it is more reliable than ever.

turbo engines now handle higher compression, run cooler, better timing, etc... equates to much more efficient, higher boost and more power. All that without $15k worth of equipment and thousands spent on the dyno.

If you don't believe me then go drive the Audi 2.0T, 335 and 328. It will change your mind.

performance turbos are no longer for motorheads. It's here for everyone.

RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By 91TTZ on 3/24/2014 4:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is that if we analyze the newer engines and study them to see which components are giving them the increased efficiency, you'll see that it isn't the turbos that are doing that. It's mostly due to the direct injection.

Case in point- when Ford came out with their direct injected Ecoboost V6 they claimed that the smaller turbo engine will deliver the power of a V8 without the inefficiency of having a big V8 engine. The initial comparisons seemed to support that... when you compared the direct injected Ecoboost V6 to an older, non-direct injected V8.

But when other manufacturers released their new V8 designs with direct injection you saw that they also gained efficiency. Let's compare the Ford F-150 with 3.5L Ecoboost V6 with the Chevy Silverado with Ecotek 5.3L V8:

The Chevy gets slightly better fuel economy, even though it has a V8. That's the closest comparison to the F-150's engine. Chevy also has a new larger V8 that gets only 1 mpg less and it has substantially more power.

RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By Jeffk464 on 3/24/2014 4:13:29 PM , Rating: 2
If you ask me Mazda kicking everybody's but on efficiency tech. Give me skydrive tech any day.

RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By 91TTZ on 3/24/2014 4:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Their new offerings are very efficient.

It's a shame that they're not using it in the "econobox" Mazda2. As it is now, you can get a Mazda3 and even a large Mazda 6 with the upgraded engines that get better MPG.

By sprockkets on 3/24/2014 8:48:50 PM , Rating: 2
An updated version is coming next year. It will be the underpinning for the next Toyota yaris as well.

RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By Samus on 3/25/2014 2:12:56 AM , Rating: 2
I agree that Mazda's "improve old technology" approach is the best route at the moment. Improving the efficiency by reducing friction and weigh of basic engine components and sticking with a tried-and-true slushbox-style transmission will pay off in cost of ownership and reliability. Unfortunately, they still spent over 1 Billion on research of the Skyactiv platform, so I hope it actually does 'pay off.'

Turbo technology had improved drastically.

Turbo technology hasn't necessarily improved. It is just now finally implemented correctly. The problem was the bad reputation it got in the 80's (especially in the United States) because Chrysler boosted literally every model they had in their lineup at one point with no liquid (just oil) cooling, intercooler not standard equipment, bad fuel injection curves, poor wastegate calibration, and weak head gaskets. And don't forget the defective blow-off valve fiasco they tried to blame on Mitsubishi, when ironically Mitsu was making the most reliable turbocharged vehicles at the time.

I hope some of that has changed with Ecoboost and the newer VW's, but the fact of the matter is a turbocharger, as any moving part, is a wearable item with a short lifespan (typically half the life of the engine) and the labor can be in the thousands to replace. What it really comes down to is if the benefits are justified by the costs.

And that's why Mazda get's my tip of the hat, because when it comes to shedding weight and increasing efficiency, there are no hidden costs.

RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By sorry dog on 3/25/2014 12:40:38 AM , Rating: 2
I see what you are saying, but I think we are getting into chicken and egg semantics here since all engine designs have tradeoff's built into their design. The biggest point is that advancements in overall technology improved efficiency in turbo and non-turbo engines, but advancements have also made turbo's much more drivable and reliable for mass usage. Forced induction cars have much more flexibility in achieving an output goal. That is particularly true when large displacement creates packaging, weight, or regulatory issues. The other way for NA engines to make power is to spin them faster but if you are above your peak torque then you are losing a lot to internal pumping losses in addition to the extra drag. Forced induction motors will always have the advantage of operating more closely to ideal volumetric efficiency and higher peak cylinder pressures.

Also, keep in mind the compressor wheel isn't the whole story. I feel that the turbine plumbing and packaging is still an area that has room to grow to use more of the waste heat that is usually blown or radiated away. For instance, a turbine driven alternator that ties in with a small hybrid battery. Just to pick a number out of the air... most cars could probably drive an extra turbine to 10-20 hp while losing 5 or less from exhaust restriction.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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