Last week Porsche confirmed it was finally reviving its 718 nameplate last used on a racing car in the 1960s. However, rather than use the 718 name for a new model, Porsche will attach it to its Boxster and Cayman when the sports cars undergo a mid-cycle update next year. They will be called the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, respectively.
Along with the announcement, Porsche released a video teasing the arrival of the modern 718 by linking it with the original through the words: “The legend 718 is about to return.” We also get some great footage of the race car plus the intoxicating sound of its flat-four engine.
The 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman will also feature flat-four engines—new units believed to offer displacements ranging from 2.0-2.5 liters. They will be turbocharged to ensure performance is on par with or perhaps even better than the current six-cylinder models, though.
The cars will also feature identical styling for the first time, and they’ll also switch positioning with the 718 Cayman to be priced below the 718 Boxster. We also hear that Porsche is planning to expand the number of variants, just as it has done with the 911.
A debut is scheduled for early next year, meaning we’ll likely see them for the first time at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show next March.
1960 Porsche 718 RS 60
The original Porsche 718 race car was developed in the late 1950s and was a continuation of the legendary 550A. It was initially powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and had a weight of only 1,260 pounds. Due to an outstanding power-to-weight ratio, it had a top speed of up to 162 mph and offered excellent maneuverability.
The 718 continued to evolve into the early 1960s, which saw it receive the RS 60 and RS 61 designations, but by the middle of that decade it was replaced by new single-seater race cars as Porsche focused on Formula racing.
With the development of the first-generation Boxster in the 1990s, Porsche continued the long tradition of mid-engine sports cars and still does so today.