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Offline carmooch

  • Joined: Dec 2010

  • Name: George
I think this is great news! A lot more tuning potential from a turbo as opposed to an NA engine.

Porsche confirms four-cylinder and hybrid sports cars

Words - Joshua Dowling
Boxster and Cayman to get a flat four, 911 to go hybrid
German sports car maker Porsche will switch to four cylinder power in its upcoming Boxster and Cayman -- and its famous 911 sports car will soon be available as a hybrid.

The company's head of research and development Wolfgang Durheimer told Australian media at the Detroit motor show overnight that the company had to bow to international pressure to reduce the fuel consumption of its cars.

"We have a four cylinder boxer engine under development. It can be applied to the Boxster and Cayman and could be applied, if necessary, to the 911. But it is our decision on the 911 side to stay with the six cylinder flat engine," Durheimer said.

But the new generation 911 -- due in two years -- would likely be available as a hybrid, he said.

"From our point of view hybrid technology will be a major step in car technology for the future," he said. "From my point of view a 911 is not too far away at all.  All our future sports cars are developed to have a hybrid application if necessary."

The four cylinder Boxster and hybrid 911 changes are likely to deliver fuel savings of between 8 and 12 per cent compared to current models, he said.

Durheimer (pictured), who officially stepped down from his Porsche role in Detroit to assume the title of Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley, said that although Porsche cars were relatively fuel-efficient because of their light weight, they needed to continue to save fuel because of social awareness rather than environmental concerns.

"We think it is very important besides keeping and adding to the current performance, to bring products to the market that meet the social standards of our target group. It's like a life insurance to have a hybrid version as well. North America demands a hybrid car very strongly."

Although Porsche has just started a research project with three pure electric Boxsters, Durheimer all-but ruled out a production version of an EV sports car.

"Until pure electric cars reach remarkable sales figures we will focus on hybrid," he said. "Electric cars are suitable for city traffic. They will have a major role with city cars much earlier than we will see them in the future of our sports cars."

The revelation about the flat-four-cylinder engine for the Boxster puts an end to speculation that the next model could have been powered by a Volkswagen engine.

VW took control of Porsche last year and is looking to integrate cars and technology between both brands. But Durheimer's engine announcement means that at the very least Porsche has managed to preserve the heart of its cars -- even though its future models may share some other componentry with Volkswagens.

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Published : Tuesday, 11 January 2011


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