The old saying ‘where there is smoke, there is fire’ certainly applies to this story, as rumours that Porsche would be ditching the flat six in the Boxster/Cayman models in favour of a four pot have been circulating for many months. A press release earlier this week confirmed those rumours, along with a significant name change.
For the 2017 model year, the duo are being called the 718 Boxster/Cayman in homage to the brand’s late Fifties era racers, which were also four cylinder powered.
The switch to a turbocharged four also brings a technical tie to the company’s Le Mans winning 919 LMP1 car. It also will likely lessen the constant media comparisons between the Cayman and the 911.
Porsche press release
Boxster and Cayman now to be marketed as 718 model series
Mississauga. The 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman – these will be the new names of
the two-door mid-engine sports cars from Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG effective with
the 2017 model changeover. The Stuttgart car manufacturer’s 718 designation is a
reference to the ground-breaking sports car of this type of the year 1957, which
enjoyed much success in renowned car races. The 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman are
showing more similarities – both visual and technical. In the future, both will now
have equally powerful four-cylinder flat engines with turbocharging. The Roadster will
be positioned at a higher price level than the Coupé – as it is the case for the 911
models. Porsche will introduce the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman over the course of
The 718 model series is a continuation of the proven four-cylinder concept and the
history of distinguished Porsche sports cars. The latest example is the
919 Hybrid LMP1 race car, which also has a highly-efficient, turbocharged fourcylinder
engine with just 2 litres of displacement. So, not only did Porsche finish first
and second in the 24 hours of Le Mans, but most recently it also won the
manufacturer’s and driver’s championship titles in the WEC World Endurance
Championship. With these victories, the 919 Hybrid has opened up the prospects for
the performance potential of future sports car engines from Porsche.
History of the 718: four-cylinder flat engine has many car racing victories
Four-cylinder flat engines have a long tradition at Porsche – and they have enjoyed
incredible success. In the late 1950s, the 718 – a successor to the legendary
Porsche 550 Spyder – represented the highest configuration level of the four-cylinder
flat engine. Whether it was competing at the 12-hour race in Sebring in 1960 or at the
European Hill Climb Championship that ran between 1958 and 1961,
the Porsche 718 prevailed against numerous competitors with its powerful and
efficient four-cylinder flat engine. The 718 took first place three times between 1959
and 1960 at the legendary Italian Targa Florio race in Sicily. At the 24 Hours of Le
Mans race 1958, the 718 RSK with its 142-hp four-cylinder engine scored a class
Porsche 919 Hybrid: technological front-runner for production cars
In 2014, Porsche returned to the top category of the famous endurance race in
Le Mans and the WEC world endurance championship with the 919 Hybrid race car.
The LMP1 vehicle, which was designed for extreme efficiency, is the most complex
race car that Porsche has ever built. It serves as a platform for fundamental
technology research for future production models – combining two different energy
recovery systems with a two-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine.