Porsche is considering offering four-cylinder engines. This is in sharp contrast to its recent history of developing larger cars with larger engines like the new Cayenne and upcoming Panamera. But it seems that even performance-only carmakers like Porsche are preparing for a possible global battle on fuel consumption.
There are no current plans to actually have a four-cylinder option, but Porsche’s head of engine technology, Thomas Krickelberg, said that the six-cylinder boxer engine in the new 911 has been designed to have two cylinders lobbed off if necessary. "The target was to have a six-cylinder because that is the criteria of the 911 and the Boxster. But there is still the option to reduce the number of cylinders."
What almost seems ironic is Porsche’s timing. Ferdinand Porsche designed the original Beetle. When he designed the first sports car to carry his name, the 356, it heavily relied on Volkswagen parts – including Volkswagen’s four-cylinder boxer engine. So this could almost turn into a small homecoming for Porsche, as it prepares to buy Volkswagen while returning to a four-cylinder.