According to the report in the UK's Car magazine, Porsche is currently working on a range of smaller-displacement engines with fewer cylinders. Like other car makers, the Zuffenhausen-based brand is chasing the holy trinity of decreased weight, increased fuel economy and improved performance.
The new four-cylinder boxer engine will feature turbocharging as standard, and will be available in three displacements ranging from 1.6 through 2.0 and 2.5 litres. The 1.6-litre engine is claimed to deliver 157kW, while the larger 2.0-litre version is capable of generating 213kW of power and 400Nm of torque. The largest version, the 2.5-litre, is said to crank out 268kW of power and 470Nm of torque.
By way of comparison, the current Boxster is equipped with a selection of flat-six engines, starting with a 195kW/280Nm 2.7-litre in the base model. The Boxster S has a 232kW/360Nm 3.4-litre version throbbing away behind the driver and passenger, while the top-shelf Boxster GTS has 243kW/370Nm on tap from its 3.4-litre motor.
The magazine doesn't reveal when the new range of four-cylinder boxer engines will appear, but it does state that they're likely to show up on many models throughout the Porsche range. First to receive the new family of smaller motors will be the Boxster roadster, Cayman coupe and, surprisingly, the Cayenne SUV. The new flat-four engines will initially be paired to a either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission.
The move to continue with development of horizontally-opposed boxer four-cylinder engines flies in the face of previous reports suggesting the German sports car brand would instead opt for the more economical route of placing engines borrowed from the Volkswagen Group in its cars.
Indeed, Porsche has already debuted a four-cylinder version of its Macan SUV, with that model - to be sold in China and some other markets - using an inline 2.0-litre four-cylinder powerplant with 174kW/350Nm sourced from the VW Group catalogue.