• A Porsche with Less Than 2.0-liters of Displacement? Probably Not Going to Happen

It’s possible to go that route, but it doesn’t make sense from a business perspective

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.

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior
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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

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.

References

Porsche 718

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman.

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster.

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Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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