Talk of a new Porsche four-cylinder engine with a flat ‘boxer’ design dates back several years, and at one point it was the engine thought to be debuting in the 2013 Boxster and Cayman models. However, according to the latest reports, the new Porsche four-cylinder will debut in the 2014 Macan crossover.

Speaking with Autocar, Porsche R&D chief Wolfgang Hatz has confirmed that the Macan will be the first modern-day Porsche to offer a four-cylinder engine. Hatz said his company won’t necessarily offer the engine at the Macan's launch late next year, though certainly in the medium to longer term.

The new engine is expected to be a 2.5-liter unit, available in both naturally-aspirated and turbocharged forms, with the latter producing in excess of 300 horsepower.

With Porsche remaining serious about reducing emissions, you can bet this engine will feature in other models eventually, most likely the Boxster and Cayman next. There’s even a possibility it will be used in a hybrid setup.  

Engineering a four-cylinder version of Porsche's legendary flat-six engine might not seem such a hard task--even without the decades of previous four-cylinders to draw on, you could simply lop a couple of cylinders off the existing sixes, right? That's basically what Porsche will be doing, though it will no doubt have to optimize the build for the desired power output and driving characteristics sought for the final product.

As previously reported, the Macan will be based on a heavily revised version of the Audi Q5’s platform, a vehicle it will also share some engines with. Of the possible shared engines, a 3.0-liter turbodiesel rated at 300-plus horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque is one of the most interesting--though it may not make it to the U.S. We also expect a range of V-6 gasoline engines to be offered, perhaps even a 370-horsepower Macan Turbo model.

Look out for a debut of the 2014 Porsche Macan at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show next September. While you wait for its arrival, check out this previous spy video of a prototype at the Nürburgring.


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