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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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I doubt this lowers the price
By SublimeSimplicity on 3/24/2014 10:30:26 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see how dropping 2 cylinders in exchange for a turbo, intercooler, valves, and piping would result in a net decrease in price. Plus the remaining 4 cylinders would need to be upgraded to handle producing more HP than all 6 did in the previous engine.

As a point of reference the Ford V6 Ecoboost in the F150 is $1300 more than the V8.




RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By BRB29 on 3/24/2014 11:23:35 AM , Rating: 2
Turbo technology had improved drastically. With direct injection(can cool cylinders), better fuel/timing/spark management along with improved cooling systems, the turbo 4s today are much more capable than the past.

Let's put it this way. My 4G63, 6G72 days taught me a lot of things bringing a piggy back management system can improve your output. It also taught me how mounting and designing piping can also be reduced by several different options like using twin scroll instead of twin turbo.

These days, you don't need to sacrifice your glove compartment and dash to have all your electronics and endless hours at the dyno. BMW and AUDI proved it can easily be done at the factory and modern chips can handle all that processing sensors can throw at it.

So yes, turbo tech has come a long way. Now it does save weight and improve efficiency while increasing output. You know it's true when you can buy a COBB and easily add massive mileage, hp and tq to your Audi or BMW(whatever version you wan to use) without changing a single part.


RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By BRB29 on 3/24/2014 11:25:08 AM , Rating: 2
*6G74


RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By 91TTZ on 3/24/2014 11:42:18 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Turbo technology had improved drastically.


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.


RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By sorry dog on 3/24/2014 12:07:02 PM , Rating: 2
It's not so much compressor efficiency (which has on average improved somewhat as some turbos are capable of 3 to 1 compression ratios which was not typical 30 years ago) but engine management controls. This is also in addition to other improvements that also benefit turbos such as higher compression ratios, direct injection, and variable valve timing that reduce drawbacks from turbo's like low rpm lag, octane requirements, and economy under boost. NASA grade emission standards have required more and better engine management sensors which allow engine operation modes that would have had durability issues in previous generation motors.


RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By BRB29 on 3/24/2014 12:23:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
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:

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&...

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.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&...


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.

http://blog.caranddriver.com/toyotas-next-gen-mazd...


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.'

quote:
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.


By Reclaimer77 on 3/25/2014 8:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Turbo technology had improved drastically. With direct injection(can cool cylinders), better fuel/timing/spark management along with improved cooling systems, the turbo 4s today are much more capable than the past.


This may be true, but he's talking about cost. One place turbo's haven't improved is being cost effective compared to NA engines. You need more electronics, piping, etc etc. The engine needs to be build to handle higher pressures.

There's something to be said for a nice sport tuned NA setup, kinda sad this car is loosing that.


RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By sorry dog on 3/24/2014 11:45:33 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed.

There are quite a few NA V6's out there that don't weigh much more than turbo inline 4's, and aren't all that smaller either.

The main benefit will be economy as higher volumetric efficiency helps thermal efficiency and it becomes easier to produce a flat torque curve. In the future I think turbo's will start catching on more and more... biggest problem is the additional engineering and engine accessories/controls costs. Thanks to all the government safety nazi's they have made the cost of developing a car so involved that only models with large volumes can be economically made. I guess a small benefit to that is that complex designs can be spread over more sales.


By Philippine Mango on 3/26/2014 12:47:44 AM , Rating: 2
actually the real reason for engine downsizing is that smaller displacement engines have lower fuel consumption when there is no boost and also their idle fuel consumption is less than larger displacement motors of the same design.


RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By Argon18 on 3/24/2014 12:12:27 PM , Rating: 2
"I don't see how dropping 2 cylinders in exchange for a turbo, intercooler, valves, and piping would result in a net decrease in price."

Remember that Porsche uses very high end (read: expensive) engine components. While other manufacturers may use cast crankshafts, connecting rods, and pistons, Porsche uses forged versions. Where other manufacturers use mainly steel, Porsche employs exotic aluminum and titanium alloys. So reducing the component count by 33% realizes cost savings, even after you add the turbo and associated plumbing.


By Skywalker123 on 3/24/2014 4:26:06 PM , Rating: 3
There is no replacement for cubic inches, except cubic money


RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By Jeffk464 on 3/24/2014 12:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
I have never liked the look of Porsche's but I have to say this new one looks pretty damn good.


RE: I doubt this lowers the price
By RapidDissent on 3/26/2014 2:09:27 PM , Rating: 2
An H6 engine will have a 2pc crankcase, two cylinder heads, and 4 camshafts, plus ancillary hoses, hydraulics and electrics. So, an I4 will nearly halve most of the parts as well as simplify much of the construction. I wouldn't expect a large drop in price, but there should be some savings even after adding turbo, intercoolers, etc.


By RapidDissent on 3/26/2014 2:11:47 PM , Rating: 2
Argh. Nevermind, reread and saw the 4banger is still a boxer.


Balloon in price?
By FITCamaro on 3/24/2014 10:46:16 AM , Rating: 3
$40,000 in 96 is equivalent to a little over $60,000 today.

So the car has actually gotten cheaper.




RE: Balloon in price?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/24/2014 10:58:39 AM , Rating: 3
You're right, I didn't take into account inflation. I just had in the back of my mind how expensive Porsches have gotten. A base 911 Carrera S is $98,000. Just boggles my mind.


RE: Balloon in price?
By BRB29 on 3/24/2014 11:10:50 AM , Rating: 2
$98k is actually pretty good when you look at all the limited production, high performance, heritage-branded sports cars.

Although i would pick an Aston Martin mainly for looks and R8 for its function, I would say the 911 is bargain priced compared to the Aston or R8.


RE: Balloon in price?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/24/2014 11:17:02 AM , Rating: 4
Then a C7 Vette Z51 must be a steal ;)


RE: Balloon in price?
By Jeffk464 on 3/24/2014 12:19:33 PM , Rating: 3
Yup, I would take the base 2015 vette over a Porsche every time. Looks better, costs less, and is no doubt more reliable, and no I don't care which one is half a second faster on which track.


RE: Balloon in price?
By BRB29 on 3/24/2014 12:31:30 PM , Rating: 2
The Vette has always been a steal. Some people want the "exotic" part.

But seriously, they drive completely different. I don't think people who really track these cars will ever cross shop those two.

The Cayman S performs better than the 911. It is also a great everyday car. Can't say the same for the Vette or 911. If I was to pick between the 3 and price doesn't matter, I would pick the Cayman S.


RE: Balloon in price?
By Mint on 3/25/2014 1:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
I think the Cayman (and Boxster now that it's so similar) being so good is the real reason behind this move as opposed to efficiency.

Porsche wants some differentiation with the 911, so that buyers who can afford $100k+ don't go down to the Cayman, but they don't want to gimp the Cayman's performance. The sound/feel/heritage of a 911-exclusive V6 will make the car more special.


RE: Balloon in price?
By BillyBatson on 3/24/14, Rating: 0
RE: Balloon in price?
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/24/2014 12:40:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And is complete plastic crap in comparison.


The C5 and C6 Vette... definitely so with regards to the interior at least. The C7 on the other hand... I wouldn't go that far.


RE: Balloon in price?
By BillyBatson on 3/25/2014 9:06:41 PM , Rating: 2
I would. Vettes are all the same. The quality just isn't there, the aesthetics isn't there, and the respect isn't there considering the bette is popular only in the US and I happen not to be a redneck or a fan of nascar. In defense of the bette though I don't think the United States makes a single sport car worth buying. European all the way.


RE: Balloon in price?
By Jeffk464 on 3/24/2014 1:56:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well yeah, none of these cars make any sense at all on public roads, they basically just have a cool factor. But to be real you aren't going to be going any faster than a Honda Accord.


RE: Balloon in price?
By Flunk on 3/24/2014 4:13:57 PM , Rating: 2
True, but it doesn't make them any less fun.


RE: Balloon in price?
By Reclaimer77 on 3/25/2014 8:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A base 911 Carrera S is $98,000. Just boggles my mind.


That price is just stupid imo. For a base Carrera S, those Germans be crazy.

Bye bye Porsche, hello Nissan GT-R.


Straight Six or Flat Six?
By Gungel on 3/24/2014 10:41:58 AM , Rating: 1
Quote: "to replace its naturally aspirated 3.0-liter straight-six." Are you sure about that, doesn't the Cayman come with a flat six engine (boxer)?




By Brandon Hill (blog) on 3/24/2014 10:44:46 AM , Rating: 1
Reread that sentence in the first paragraph you just quoted ;)


RE: Straight Six or Flat Six?
By Berlu135 on 3/24/2014 10:45:48 AM , Rating: 1
They're talking about BMW there. Later in the article it is correctly stated that the Cayman uses a flat-six.


Efficiency? That's not the good part.
By Flunk on 3/24/2014 10:31:58 AM , Rating: 2
Lower weight, lower center of gravity, less cost, more power what's to complain about? It's impressive that Porsche can manage something like that.




Back to the Future
By StoveMeister on 3/24/2014 8:41:03 PM , Rating: 2
Hardly "news".
Last time there was an economy push ('70's fuel crisis) Porsche did the same:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porsche_924




To Porsche/Volkswagen Auto Group
By lagomorpha on 3/30/2014 8:15:37 AM , Rating: 2
If you put the new boxer-4 behind the rear axle of a rebooted Volkswagen Beetle Classic you can be forgiven for all actions between 1937 and 1945.




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