New Porsche Engine for Entry-Level Roadster

Volkswagen BlueSport Roadster

The rumors about a new Porsche roadster, alternately based on the 550 or the VW BlueSport (above) or something else are still rumors. But now, Porsche has confirmed that it is building an engine to power it—whatever “it” is.

Our guess, after reading tons of tea leaves, is that it will be a variation of the BlueSport, which tgriffith and I have been writing about and hoping for for two years.

The engine is a 4-cylinder, horizontally opposed “boxer,” based on a cut-down version of the present 911 flat six-cylinder and using “a combination of light-pressure turbocharger induction and piezo-guided direct injection.” Look for 2-liter and 2.5-liter versions, the latter supposedly outputting 380 hp.

The new engine is also reported to be part of the third-generation Boxster offering—maybe Cayman as well—outputting 70 more hp than the Boxster S at a much lighter weight. One assumes the result would be lots better fuel economy, helping Porsche’s CAFE average in the U.S.

Porsche has produced lots of four-cylinders in the past, going back to 1938, according to one writer. The 550 used a 1.5-liter derived from the 356 engine. The water-cooled fours were less successful: Some of us remember the 924, one of Porsche’s truly inferior cars.

But now, with a real powerplant and a factory commitment, we could see one of the most interesting Porsches in years emerge—probably sometime in mid-to-late 2014.

2012 Porsche BoxsterSince Porsche, VW and Audi are now all in bed together, we can expect them to share a platform for this car, as well as putting the engine in Boxster (right) and Cayman models as an option.

The new car could well use the BlueSport as its base, though there has been so much speculation and ink spilled over the “baby Porsche” in the last two years that we won’t indulge in more of it.

What they aren’t talking about yet is price, which will be the dealmaker or dealbreaker for this car. But you can bet it won’t come cheap.

Until it does appear, you can find some great Boxster prices on DealFinder.

What kind of price would it take to interest you in a 4-cylinder midengine Porsche?

—jgoods

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2 Comments

  1. Small, light, peppy. Now if they’d just forward the clock to the 21st century and turn that engine around for mid-engine weight balance, you’d lose that dangerous rear-end lurch that Porsche is famous for and try something new. Otherwise, it’s just a flat-four beetle with a five-figure price tag.

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