The Porsche Boxster (and Cayman) have come a long way from literally saving the German manufacturer from going bust in the late 1990s. But clearly in its latest iteration the omission of two cylinders and the adding of a turbocharger have diluted what was once an undefeated champ in its class for driver involvement.
From the naturally aspirated flat-six to a turbocharged flat-four, and grafting the ‘718’ ahead of its usual name because of it, a key puzzle piece to the emotional reasons people gravitate to sports cars was removed. There were the usual upsides to these changes, naturally, such as much improved torque at lower speeds and increased efficiency, but the fact that previous generation Boxsters and Caymans have shot up in prices indicate the buying population do not view these as priorities.
However, a new report by Autocar alleges that a lightweight higher performance variant of 718 Boxster is in the works to revive the Boxster Spyder moniker first used for the 987 generation car in 2010. And the best part is that it’ll bin the 2.5-litre flat-four for good ol’ atmospheric flat-six.
Actually, the real best part is that Porsche might not use one of its more standard engines for the upcoming Boxster Spyder, or just an upturned version of one of their motors used in the previous-generation 981 or 911 like they did with the Cayman GT4, but rather the magnificent 4.0-litre screamer lifted straight out of their 911 GT3. Oh dear.
Speaking with the British publication, Porsche GT boss Andreas Preuninger said: "Natural aspiration is one of our main USPs. At Motorsport, we think we can achieve throttle response and immediacy a little bit better with an atmospheric high-revving engine than any kind of turbo.”
The fact that the this mystery car is receiving so much direct input from the marque’s GT division, the likelihood of it being instead called simply the Boxster GT4 increases. After all, the reason why Porsche adopted the 718 moniker in the first place was in reference to its flat-four powered RSK racing cars in the 1950s. The pretence is rendered void, and the name just wouldn’t belong if the car was powered by a flat-six.
Having said that, the car would still adopt many of the previous Boxster Spyder’s philosophies. Reduced weight and a racier suspension setup would be expected, with features such as air conditioning and infotainment being missing by default, much less sound deadening and vibration dampening material spread throughout, and possibly a manually operated roof too.
The current 911 GT3’s engine produces 368kW at 8,250rpm and 460Nm at 6,000rpm, which might be a little overkill for the smaller and lighter Boxster. It wouldn’t surprise us, then, if the motor came detuned upon debut when mounted amidship in place of the much smaller Boxer four. Drive would likely reach the rear wheels via 6-speed manual transmission, though a 7-speed PDK automatic could also make an appearance as on of the car’s options.