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.