It has been over 20 years since Porsche produced a 4 cylinder engine (968 - Circa 1995) and 40 years since they made a flat-four engine (914 - Circa 1976). This latest earth shattering news from Stuttgart rivals the unexpected announcement of Porsche turbocharging the coveted naturally aspirated Carreras. This unprecedented move from flat-six to flat-four engines will first be realized in the new 718 Boxster and eventually in the next generation Cayman. This decision is no doubt fueled by Porsche’s need to produce performance engines that burn cleaner and have improved fuel economy.
What Porsche has taken away in displacement and cylinders, it’s has generously compensated with increased power and torque thanks to a single turbocharger. The base 2.0L 718 Boxster delivers 296 HP and 280 Torque, representing a 25 HP and 66 Torque increase over the old 2.7L six. The 2.5L S version also benefits from a 25 HP increase over its predecessor (the 3.4) with a total of 345 HP and 310 Torque representing a gain of 37 Torque.
Economy has improved significantly with the standard car up 5.1 mpg to 40.9 mpg, and the 2.5-litre S getting a 4.3 mpg bump to 38.7 mpg (with PDK). Both S and Non-S flat-fours should sound better than an inline four, especially being powered by a single turbo. The 2.5L S engine will further benefit from Porsches Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG) turbocharger found on the Turbo and Carrera models.
More power usually means increased performance and the new 718 delivers. With PDK and Sport Chrono Package, you’ll get the 718 Boxster from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds (a 0.8sec improvement), with the S model doing the same in 4.2 seconds (0.6sec quicker than before). Advertised top speeds are 170mph in the Boxster, and 177mph in the Boxster S.
But the biggest question is… How much will the new turbocharged flat-four engines benefit from an IPD Plenum? We think it’s fair to assume that what performs very well on a flat-six should also perform very well on a flat-four. The better question is not, will an IPD Plenum improve performance? But how much will an IPD Plenum improve performance? That answer will be coming soon enough. Until then the only thing we know for sure is that R & D on the 718 Plenum will begin as soon as we receive the parts and testing will commence as soon as the prototype Plenums meet their subject.