When it comes to sports cars, less power usually isn't a good thing. But Porsche thinks less powerful but more affordable versions of its new 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman will help boost the attraction of the cars in the lucrative Chinese market.
These models will have a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter flat-4 engine. In the United States, the 718 models are offered with 2.0- and 2.5-liter flat-4 engines producing 300 and 350 hp, respectively.
The information was reported by Automotive News (subscription required) based on comments made by Jan Roth, who heads the 718 line at Porsche.
2017 Porsche 718 Cayman
Lower power output will allow Porsche to lower the price. The Chinese-market base models will start at under 600,000 yaun (approximately $90,000), which Roth calls a "magical threshold for customers in China." The previously flat-6-equipped Cayman base model started at more than 700,000 yaun in China.
Roth believes the new models could boost the cars' sales to 4,500 units in 2017, compared to around 2,500 units of the Boxster and Cayman sold in 2015. China is Porsche's largest market, but the automaker's sports cars make up a small percentage of sales there: Porsche sells nearly 16 times more Cayennes than it does 911s in China.
Meanwhile, Porsche appears to be going in the opposite direction in other markets. While the 718 line is flat-4-only for now, the automaker hasn't ruled out offering flat-6 engines in more potent models down the line. They will likely be used in successors to the previous Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder models.