ATLANTA -- Porsche will begin selling four-cylinder versions of its Boxster and Cayman sports cars in the U.S. in mid-2016, CEO Matthias Mueller said. Porsche last sold four-cylinder engines in this market 20 years ago.
Mueller acknowledged that Porsche could consider four-cylinder engines in the U.S. for other nameplates.
"First of all, we will have it in the Boxster and Cayman successor," Mueller told Automotive News. "And then we will see how it works and how successful it is and how the customers will react on that, and then we will take the next decisions."
Executives confirmed last year that a new flat-four boxer engine was planned for the freshened Boxster and Cayman, but they didn't say which markets would get it. A flat-four engine has pistons that are horizontally opposed, instead of in line or in a V.
The engine is expected to be turbocharged, and although Porsche has not confirmed details, displacement could come in 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter versions. It would lower vehicle weight and improve fuel efficiency and handling. According to a German report, Mueller has suggested that the new engine could produce "up to 395 horsepower."
The Boxster and Cayman won't be Porsche's only four-cylinder vehicles. It sells a four-cylinder version of its new Macan crossover in China and the U.K. Until now, Porsche executives have said the four-cylinder Macan isn't slated for the U.S. But Mueller said Porsche hasn't decided about that.
Porsche sold vehicles powered by flat-four engines from 1948 through 1976. It sold inline four-cylinder engines from 1976 through 1995. Porsche's last nameplate sold in the U.S. with a four-cylinder engine was the 968 in 1995.