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Porsche Cayman and Boxster Will Return To a Flat 6, Allowing the 718 Twins to Reach Further Audiences

Contrary to some opinions, Flat 6 engine, often associated with Porsche, is better than 4. But instead of the new 4.0 Flat 6 having a monopoly over the 718 chassis code, it will give the old 4 cylinder a second chance at a new life at the entry level.


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.


Peter (not verified)    January 17, 2020 - 6:39PM

I am happy to consider a Cayman 718 GTS with a flat 6 but only if I can have the PDK as I can no longer operate a clutch anymore.

Uwe (not verified)    January 18, 2020 - 12:16AM

In my view the manual only does not make sense. Would never go back to manual after the experience with the PDK in my 981 Boxster S, a fantastic car btw. So I‘d rather go for a 981 Boxster GTS in mint condition than the manual only Boxster 718 GTS. Alternatively, I would rather go for a 911 Targa straight away. A very nice car indeed. A shame really as otherwise it seems to be a fantastic car. On the other hand, it is so close to the 718 Spyder performance that I do not really see its place in the range of 718 options.

digitaldoc (not verified)    January 18, 2020 - 3:02PM

Supposedly a 6 cylinder boxer engine is quite a bit more balanced than a 4 cylinder boxer engine in terms of geometry. Always nice to see more cylinders, and not just turbos to make the power, and the 6's usually sound a lot more melodious as well.

Max (not verified)    February 19, 2020 - 3:45PM

In reply to by Max (not verified)

Sadly, so far the base model and Cayman S are set to get the 2.5 flat 4. If there will be another engine option for those cars we haven’t seen it yet. Reason being that the cayman gt4 and gts 4.0 will get the 6 so they have to keep the 4 cylinder in atleast those two models.would be a big waste of money to use a while new engine for just 2 model years.

ronnie (not verified)    April 18, 2021 - 7:24PM

I have one question, why did porsche go back from 4 cyl turbo to 6 cyl and not to mention a bigger 4.0 cyl, hows the emission card work now.? when they released the 4 cyl turbo it was for emissions ? mpg etc? i call that bs. ?

Max (not verified)    April 19, 2021 - 1:33PM

In reply to by ronnie (not verified)

Theyre doing the same stuff that they have to do to the 6 cylinder 911s to stay within emissions laws. But, this is also a matter of the industry-wide engine downsizing and turbocharging, but with the Porsche 4 cylinder boxster and caymans, it was also a huge matter of public reception. The enthusiasts threw a fit and they listened. That's why the 4.0 lives in the 718 and Cayman today.

dougiequick (not verified)    January 12, 2022 - 5:27PM

prices are through the roof! Porsche only made it worse than ever to make all the more affordable options dang 4 cylinders,,,I don't dare partake in this market...I guess I will downgrade to a Toyota GR86 and save a BUNCH of cash!....hopefully market will turn around before I am too old to enjoy the real deal..but untill then? People like me? REFUSE what Porsche has done to us....