Porsche’s decision to fit a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine inside the 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster models didn’t sit too well with some of the brand’s most hardcore supporters. Fortunately, they shouldn’t worry about seeing a smaller engine on future models because Porsche has no plans of ever going that route. The German automaker indicated that it could do it if it wanted to, but it’s not considering that option because it doesn’t make sense from a performance point of view.
Michael Steiner, a member of Porsche’s executive board for research and development, spoke to Autoguide on the sidelines of the LA Auto Show about this specific issue. According to Steiner, Porsche can use an engine as small as a 1.0-liter, but that kind of application wouldn’t make sense for road-going production cars for a number of reasons, including the complexities of adding a hybrid system to work with the engine. “At some point, it would make no more sense to downsize the combustion engine and put more and more electric energy into the vehicle,” he said.
Another issue with this powertrain equation is weight, something that Porsche has always been very careful of in the development of its cars. “If you would like to have good performance and very precise and fast reaction to any movement of the gas pedal, you need torque, not only power,” Steiner added. A smaller 1.0-liter engine may be lighter in comparison to a 2.0-liter mil, but if Porsche wants more torque out of the whole hybrid setup, it’s going to need to add a bigger and more sophisticated hybrid system to account for the needed torque figures to help the car perform like a proper Porsche. Developing that kind of hybrid system will also cost Porsche money, something it’s not keen on doing if it doesn’t have to do it.
So while it is possible to see a 1.0-liter engine on a Porsche — the 919 racer has one — it’s not something that Porsche is keen on doing with its production cars. Rest easy, purists. You can put the pitchforks down now.
Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman.
Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster.
Read more Porsche news.