Porsche’s decision to go to the flat 4 last time was probably a good idea at the time in terms of costs, fuel consumption, and packaging. However, they completely forgot about a few crucial conditions that Porsche owners pay attention to. Sound, and being proud of your engine.
The 4 cylinders were a marvel of engineering, no doubt. The power from the little motor was astonishing and the fuel economy didn’t suffer, but who wants to listen to that engine with the top down on the highway? The answer actually goes multiple ways. Let me explain.
Flat 6 Engine Is Returning
The return of the Flat Six Engine is going to be fantastic. The 3.0 liter flat 6 from the Carrera gets punched out to 4.0 liters, loses the turbos, and drops into the 718 Cayman/Boxster. Natural aspiration in a car like this is key to enthusiast. A pure driving experience can be tarnished by turbos in some cases as they make controlling revs difficult. The old, dishonorably discharged, flat 4 didn't have much turbo lag at all, but an NA motor will feel so much more engaging for a sports car.
The previous Porsche 718s get a bad rap with the general community, but the truth is inescapable. It’s a fantastic car. It drives like one of the best mid-engine chassis of all time. We can all take a rain check on that motor, however the design as a whole is something to be thankful for. And now that flat 4 will have its place as a base engine. Yes, the engine will have to stay for now but for good reason.
The 718 cars are likeable little sports cars, not just to enthusiasts but the general public. Someone who is in the market for a fun car may see the cheaper version of a great car and love it for what it is. This person may not care about having a 4.0 liter flat 6 with a six speed manual that can do 0-60 in 4.3 seconds. This person wants to enjoy a Sunday morning drive and go the speed limit.
Porsche had finally heard enough from the journalists who sent the old engine to automotive exile, so now the flat 6 is for the person who does care about all those little things.
Also, please, take a look at my yesterday's story about driving your Porsche 911 on loose surfaces and how it makes more sense.
Max Larsen is the Porsche reporter at Torque News. Since he was 15 years old Max was building old cars and selling them for profit, spawning his love for cars. He has been around Porsches his entire life. His grandpa had several 911s and he owned a Porsche 944 when he was younger, which made the auto-shop class cars a lot simpler. Reading old car magazines and seeing press cars at shows gave he the passion to write and pursue the industry. He is currently studying for Journalism at Western Washington University and writing for the racing team there locally. Follow Max on Torque News Porsche and on Twitter at @maxlarsencars. Search Torque News Porsche for daily Porsche news coverage by our expert automotive reporters.