Closely following the auto industry's downsizing trend, Porsche is gearing up to launch its first flat-four engines since the 914 and the 912E were axed nearly four decades ago. A report coming out of England sheds valuable insight into what we can expect from the four-cylinder-powered Boxster and Cayman that are now right around the corner.
Both the entry-level Boxster and Cayman are set to get a 2.0-liter flat-four that will use a single turbocharger and a direct fuel-injection system to develop 240 horsepower, 25 less than the 2.7-liter flat-six that currently equips the base model Boxster and 35 less than the six found in the Cayman. How Porsche will make up for the loss in power is anyone's guess.
A six-speed manual transmission will come standard, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic unit will be available at an extra cost.
Moving up, the mid-level S models will swap their 3.4-liter flat-six, which makes 315 and 325 horsepower in the Boxster and Cayman, respectively, for a 300-horsepower 2.5-liter flat-four. The mill will again be fitted with a single turbo and direct injection, and the transmission options will carry over from the base models.
Finally, the GTS variants will use an evolution of the S's 2.5-liter tuned to deliver up to 370 ponies, a generous increase over the outgoing Cayman GTS's 340-horsepower 3.6-liter flat-six.
In short, most Cayman and Boxster models will lose a pair of cylinders and go turbo. The only exceptions will be the Cayman GT4 (pictured), which will continue to use a modified version of the 911's 3.8-liter flat-six, and the Boxster Spyder, which will soldier on with a slightly less powerful version of the same six.
England's CAR magazine reports the mechanical updates will be accompanied by a discreet shot of Botox as well as additional standard and optional features, including safety-focused equipment and electronic driving aids.
Porsche will introduce the updated Cayman and Boxster either next January at the Detroit Motor Show or the following March at the Geneva Motor Show, and they will go on sale in time for the 2017 model year. Surprisingly, the Cayman will reportedly be re-positioned half a notch below its topless sibling in a bid to boost sales.