Skip to Main Content
Accessibility Information
Porsche Centre North Toronto

The first four-cylinder Porsche in 21 years

Written by Owen Xu, Sales Executive 

Usually, when a new version of an existing product has less of something it’s often taken as a negative change. Porsche, however, is proving that it isn’t necessarily the case with the new 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster (982). Yes, it does “downgrade” the engine size from the previous generation flat six-cylinder engine to a flat-four, however the new sports car makes up for those lower numbers with power and design that outranks its predecessor in several ways, giving the 718 models a unique combination of price and performance.

Porsche hasn’t made a car with a four-cylinder engine since the 968, which went out of production in 1995. To go back to the last time Porsche made something with a flat-four, we must go back even further to the 914, which stopped being made in 1976. Although if we want to be picky, the flat-four powered 912E was also sold for a short time in 1976.

As recent as five years ago, four-cylinder engines were considered entry level because they were less complex and easier to manufacture, which was less expensive than a six-cylinder engine. But that old rule doesn’t apply anymore because Porsche has designed new turbocharged engines that are much more technically complex than the naturally aspirated flat-six engines that they replace.

The new turbocharged flat four-cylinder engine further advanced the fuel injection system with centrally positioned injectors and fuel pressure of up to 250 bar (3,625 PSI) when the engine is at operating temperature. It also has a more advanced VarioCamPlus-System with camshaft adjustment and valve lift adjustment on the intake and exhaust side. ”The result is an impressive boost in power. The specific output (horsepower per liter) has risen from about 100 horsepower on the previous naturally aspirated flat sixes to 150 horsepower per liter on the 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four in the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman.”

What the four-cylinder does hold over the six-cylinder is torque — punch the accelerator pedal to the floor and the new turbocharged engines have significantly more robustness in their step, especially off the line. Driving each back-to-back and switching between the 6-speed manual and the 7-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox, the manual transmission appears better suited to the lower power of the 2.0-liter, however the PDK transmission always seems to amaze. The more powerful 2.5-liter, a kick in the gut, is equally as enjoyable with either gearbox.


Technical specifications aside, the most vital information for a Porsche driver is how do they perform — more specifically, how do the new turbocharged flat-four engines compare to the outgoing naturally aspirated flat-six engines?  

We welcome you to test drive 718 Cayman or 718 Boxster at Porsche Centre North Toronto, and let us know your take on the Porsche turbocharged flat four-cylinder engine.

Date Posted: February 26, 2018