Porsche says fuel consumption and emissions are central to its future engines but has ruled out fitting a four-cylinder engine to either its 911 supercar or Cayman and Boxster sports cars.
The company is still considering downsized turbocharged engines, though a senior member of Porsche’s engine development team says both the Porsche 911 and Porsche Cayman/Boxster twins will continue to be powered by a six-cylinder engine.
“We are just developing the future planning and it is not yet clear what we will do, but of course we have to reduce fuel consumption,” team leader of engine development Dr Martin Constien told CarAdvice at the international launch of the new Porsche Cayman.
“The requirements from the different governments in the US, also in Europe, and also have to fulfil emissions regulations.
“This is the main influence that gives us future strategies.
“[But a] Turbo four-cylinder is not for Cayman. Cayman will always be six-cylinder. And the turbo is on the six-cylinder only for the 911, the Turbo.”
Dr Constien said a turbocharged engine would represent challenges for the more compact Cayman and Boxster. The new Cayman features prominent scoops in the sides of the car that feed air to the mid-mounted engine placed behind the cockpit.
Space for intercoolers and additional air intakes would need to be added, Dr Constien said.
He said the Porsche engine team didn’t have concerns about a smaller turbocharged engine struggling to live up to the company’ reputation for building smooth-revving engines.
“It is a question of [uninterrupted] acceleration with a turbo, but I think with our 911 Turbo we have solved this problem with the variable vane turbocharger.”
In the opposite direction, Dr Constien ruled out rumours of a bigger version of Porsche’s horizontally opposed ‘boxer’ six-cylinder. An eight-cylinder ‘boxer’ has been the subject of speculation for a new supercar that the company is considering as a rival for the Ferrari F12.
“The boxer engine concept is specific for a smaller car [such as Cayman and 911]” said Dr Constien. “[And] I don’t think it would be a good engine for the [bigger] Panamera [for example] because the body is wider, so in Panamera we have a front [mounted] engine.”
The Panamera uses V8 engines built by Porsche but borrows V6 and V8 engines from within the VW Group for the Cayenne 4WD. Dr Constien says Porsche will continue to tap into the vast umbrella group for some of its larger engines.
In good news for driving purists, though, Porsche says it has no plans to discontinue manual gearboxes despite the increasing popularity of the ‘PDK’ dual-clutch auto among its customers.
The likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini look set to go auto-only with all their future models, but Porsche says there is still demand.
“I think for the Boxster and Cayman there is a case. It is open [for future discussion] but at the moment the customers really wants to also have manual gearboxes.”