Confirming a long-running rumor, a top Porsche official used the Detroit Auto Show to let the world know his company is, in fact, hard at work on a new horizontally opposed four-cylinder motor. But don’t panic just yet.
At the show, outgoing head of Porsche research and development Wolfgang Durheimer said, “We have a four-cylinder boxer engine under development,” thus removing pretty much any doubt about the engine’s existence. The new motor is expected to be used in Porsche’s new sub-Boxster roadster whose platform will be shared with VW and Audi; however, Durheimer also admitted the mill could find its way into the engine compartments of the Cayman, Boxster, or even the 911—but not anytime soon, at least in the latter case. “Our decision is, on the 911 side, we’ll stay with the flat [six],” he said. “But there are opportunities for the future.”
However, a four-cylinder wouldn’t necessarily spell a loss of power for any of the current models; prototypes of the new engine, reportedly a 2.5 liter unit, supposedly make 360 horsepower in turbocharged form—15 more ponies than the 911′s current entry-level boxer six. A more pertinent question, then, might be this: if the entry-level 911 were to take on a turbocharged powerplant, would it get to wear a “Turbo” badge? We hope not. [via Autocar]
Pictured: The 530 horsepower 3.6 liter twin-turbocharged 3.6 liter boxer six-cylinder from the 2008 Porsche 911 GT2, just because it makes us happy to see it.