Porsche today announced that its mid-engine Boxster roadster and Cayman coupe will carry the 718 name when they undergo their mid-cycle update in 2016. The models will be called the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman and both will use turbocharged four-cylinder engines, as previously confirmed.
There is precedent for the 718 name with four-cylinder power. Porsche built the open-cockpit, mid-engine 718 from 1957 to 1962 as a successor to the 550. It competed in and won several races powered by a flat four-cylinder engine. There was a time when it was thought a spiritual successor to the original 718 could be launched as a new entry-level model positioned below the Boxster, but Porsche ruled out such a car. Instead, the Boxster and Cayman have become that spiritual successor.
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Porsche hasn't announced the power figures for the new 718 models, but the press release says that the cars will have equal power. Two engines are rumored, both turbocharged. A 2.0-liter flat-four is expected to produce 286 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, while a 2.5-liter, likely slated for S models, should make 360 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque. Direct injection will help achieve those numbers, and Porsche is hinting that some type of hybrid technology may be offered as well. Porsche says that the 919 Hybrid race car "serves as a platform to further fundamental technology research for future production models–combining two different energy recovery systems with a 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine."
Porsche also says that the cars will share more similarities than ever, both visually and mechanically, and that the Boxster will be the more premium model. The current Cayman costs a little more than the Boxster, with the difference being $500 to $1,900, depending on the model. As for visual similarities, the latest Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder share front and rear fascias. We would expect the same of the rest of the lineup moving forward.
Timing and pricing for the new four-cylinder 718s hasn't been announced, but we'll keep you up to date as that information is released.