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by Tim Beissmann

Porsche is developing a four-cylinder engine for its future entry-level products, including the Boxster, Cayman, planned ‘baby Boxster’ roadster and potentially even the 911.

According to UK publication Autocar, Porsche’s outgoing head of research and development, Wolfgang Durheimer, admitted that work on the small-capacity engine was underway in Stuttgart.

“We have a four-cylinder boxer engine under development,” Mr Durheimer confirmed.

The engine is believed to be a either a 2.0- or 2.5-litre unit capable of producing up to 270kW when turbocharged – which would be considerably more powerful than the 2.9- and 3.4-litre flat-six engines in the current Boxster and Cayman.

Mr Durheimer told Autocar that despite the new engine’s potential, it was Porsche’s preference to keep it out of the 911.

“[It] could be applied if necessary to the 911. Our decision is, on the 911 side, we’ll stay with the flat [six]. But there are opportunities for the future.”

The engine will be available with Porsche’s PDK dual-clutch transmission, as well as a six-speed manual gearbox.

The mid-sized Cajun SUV could also be among the first recipients of the four-cylinder engine, when it is launched in 2014.