Purists might cringe at the thought, but the latest information out of is that Porsche will put a 4-cylinder into the next-generation Boxster, due out in 2011. Possibly an even tougher pill to swallow, it’s rumored a turbodiesel will find its way into Porsche’s mid-engine convertible by 2013!
Why such drastic measures? With ever-increasing emissions and fuel economy regulations, automakers need to find ways to build more efficient cars. And Porsche’s intent with the next Boxster â€” expected to be launched at the 2011 Geneva auto show â€” is to build nothing less than the most economical Porsche ever.
To achieve this lofty goal, Porsche will put a small-displacement turbocharged inline 4-cylinder sourced from the VW/Audi family into the Boxster. But fear not, it will still have plenty of power, to the tune of about 270 bhp we’re told. While VW Group’s direct-injected 2.0T is the most obvious choice, rumors have circulated that Porsche might scrap that plan and design a horizontally opposed turbocharged 4-cylinder of its own, which would be more in keeping with Porsche’s boxer tradition and its inherent low center of gravity.
Besides the smaller, lighter engine, Porsche also aims to take weight out of the Boxster’s body and chassis. The new car will ride on a slightly longer wheelbase and have a wider track. Every single body panel will also be new, although the Boxster’s basic silhouette will remain. Notable changes include higher, more pronounced fenders, a shorter front overhang, larger side air intakes and door-mounted mirrors. Although driving a Boxster without the familiar flat-6 wail will be strange, it’s sure hard to argue with a car that’s less expensive, lighter, better performing and more like its spritual forefather, the 550.