Porsche to “Downsize” with Four-cylinder Engines for Next Gen Boxster, Cayman
March 24, 2014 10:17 AM
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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
, 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).
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RE: I doubt this lowers the price
3/25/2014 2:12:56 AM
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.
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.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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