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Could This Boxster Be Porsche's Next Four-Cylinder?

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  • Could This Boxster Be Porsche's Next Four-Cylinder?

    Could This Boxster Be Porsche's Next Four-Cylinder?

    Date posted: 10-07-2009

    At first glance, this prototype of the 2011 Porsche Boxster looked like it might be an early prototype for a low-slung Speedster model. But after taking a closer look and noting that this test mule has a standard-height windshield, our suspicions turned toward another possibility — four-cylinder power.

    Yes, that's right, Porsche is considering a four-cylinder power plant for the next-generation Boxster. Ever-tightening fuel and emissions standards mean that even Porsche must start considering its fleet average if it wants to sell mid-priced sports cars without huge gas-guzzler taxes.
    One way to offset vehicles like the Cayenne Turbo is with more fuel-efficient versions of higher-volume models like the Boxster. And with Porsche now under the Volkswagen umbrella, there's a wide range of four-cylinder engines available to choose from.

    One possibility is the high-output turbocharged 2.0-liter currently used in the Audi TTS . Producing 265 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, the direct-injection engine already delivers more output than the base 2.9-liter flat-6 in the current Boxster.

    Even if the engine were detuned to improve economy, it would probably still have plenty of power, as the next Boxster is expected to focus on weight reduction as one key to improved dynamics. Coupled with Porsche's new seven-speed PDK transmission, the new drivetrain would likely deliver numbers above the 19 city/27 highway ratings of the current six-cylinder.

    Although various prototypes of the next-generation Boxster have been seen over the past year or so, we don't expect to see any production version until late next year, with U.S. sales expected in the spring of 2011.

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