Porsche’s 981 Boxster and Cayman siblings are in for some fairly significant updates for the 2016 model year, and we’re starting to get a pretty good idea of what they will look like, thanks to this brief clip of a new, barely disguised 981 Boxster out for spin in Stuttgart, Germany.

The front gets a resculpted front fascia with what appear to be larger, more squared-off air intakes. The rear fascia gets a refresh too, with a more pronounced black plastic lower section. The elliptical exhaust exit has been ditched in favor of trapezoid-shaped item. This test mule appears to be using headlight and taillight units from the current Boxster, but expect those to be updated as well. However, the biggest news isn’t what on the outside; it’s what’s under the rear deck lid.

That both the next Cayman and Boxster are getting flat-four powerplants isn’t exactly a secret anymore, but Porsche CEO Mathias Mueller recently confirmed to Automotive News that both will indeed be sold in the United States. The new engine will almost certainly be turbocharged, with a 2.0-liter version for the standard Boxster and a 2.5-liter for the Boxster S.

Why it matters

What isn’t clear is if the new engines will be available alongside the current flat-sixes or if they will replace them altogether. Rumors suggest the new engine could be good for as much as 395 horsepower, which, if true, likely spells the end for the Boxster and Cayman’s flat-six. The only exception will be the next Cayman GT4, which will carry on with a tweaked version of its 3.8-liter atmospheric flat-six.

The next Boxster (and Cayman) won’t break any new ground styling-wise, but the new engine will make it the first flat-four-powered Porsche since the 914 ceased production in 1976. It also marks the beginning of the end for normally aspirated Porsches. Turbochargers are propagating throughout Porsche’s lineup, including the next 911. Only cars from Porsche’s performance division, GT3 and GT4, will be spared. Embrace your new turbocharged overlords.

2016 Porsche Boxster

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Exterior Spyshots
- image 559026

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