The Porsche Boxster and Cayman are set to receive significant changes beginning with the 2016 models of both mid-engine sports cars. For starters, both the Boxster and the Cayman are scheduled to get new names. Taking a page from its traditional style of naming its vehicles, the Boxster and the Cayman will be renamed the 718 Boxster and the 718 Cayman.

Porsche made the announcement in a press release, even though it didn’t exactly explain the reason behind the decision to add the historically significant “718” name to both mid-engined sports cars. Porsche purists know that the 718 designation is a reference to the ground-breaking, open-top race car that Porsche built from 1957 to 1962. The original 718 was a two-seater, 1.5-liter sports car that was adapted to compete in a number of different formulas during its years with Porsche, most notably in 1961 when it competed in Formula One and propelled driver Dan Gurney to a fourth place finish in the driver’s championship.

Neither the Boxster nor the Cayman have any historical ties to the original 718 so it’s interesting to hear why Porsche decided to dust off the name and give it to both models. Whatever rationale Porsche has, it does look more and more certain that we’re going to see the legendary 718 name back into the fold. Younger fans of Porsche may not be familiar with it, but rest assured, the historical significance attached to the name speaks to the rich and oftentimes successful history Porsche has in motorsports.

Both the 718 Boxster and the 718 Cayman will be next-generation models when they make their debuts in 2016. Details have been scant at this point, but Porsche did say that the two models will be more similar than they have been in the past. That’s interesting considering both are already nearly identical to each other except for a few notable exceptions.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

The Porsche Boxster and Cayman have already established themselves in the sports car scene so I’m not sure how a name change is going to help drive up interest in the model. It’s also curious considering that Porsche’s target market for both cars are young buyers or the same type of people of who may not even be familiar with the 718’s historical significance to Porsche.

It is a curious decision to say the least but one that I’m sure Porsche deliberated on for some time before making the announcement. Those who do know the 718’s place in the annals of Porsche lore will appreciate the name making a comeback. After all, the 718 isn’t just known for its racing history. It’s also the model that effectively became the successor to the Porsche 550, arguably the most iconic Porsche model in history next to the 911.

That’s the kind of history both the Boxster and the Cayman will begin to carry on their respective shoulders when they receive the 718 designation in time for the arrivals of both next-generation models next year. Porsche seems to think that both models are capable of making the name proud and for its part, and the German automaker is doing what it can to prepare both mid-engine sports cars for this task.

Only time will tell if the 718 Boxster and the 718 Cayman will be able to justify the name they’ve been given. Porsche has said that the two models will be given the same 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four engines with outputs that could reach 240 horsepower for the base models and as much as 370 ponies for the GTS variants. That base output would actually be lower than the 275 ponies powering the current Boxster and Cayman, although that’s likely tied into the smaller engine that Porsche will use on the next-gem models. The base engine for the current Boxster and Cayman models is a 2.7-liter flat-six engines.

Just as important is Porsche confirming that the 718 Boxster will have a higher price tag than its Cayman counterpart, a reversal from the pricing of the current models which has the Cayman being the slightly more expensive model than the Boxster.

2016 Porsche 718

2014 Porsche 550 High Resolution Exterior
- image 407919

Read our full review on the Porsche 718 here.

Press Release

The mid-engine sports cars from Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG will be named 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, respectively, when the models are introduced over the course of 2016. The 718 designation is a reference to the ground-breaking sports car Porsche introduced back in 1957, which achieved great success in a number of renowned car races. The 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman will share more similarities than ever before – both visually and technically. In the future, both will have equally powerful turbocharged flat-four cylinder engines. The Roadster will be positioned at a higher price level than the Coupe – as is the case with the 911 models.

Porsche Cayman And Boxster Will be Renamed To 718 Cayman And 718 Boxster
- image 659301

The 718 model range is driven by the four-cylinder concept and the history of distinguished Porsche sports cars. The latest example is the 919 Hybrid LMP1 race car, which is powered by a highly-efficient, turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine. This powerplant not only helped Porsche finish first and second in the 24 hours of Le Mans, but it also helped win the manufacturer’s and driver’s championship titles in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) this year. With these victories, the 919 Hybrid has showcased the performance potential of future sports car engines from Porsche.

History of the 718: flat-four cylinder engine has achieved many racing victories

Flat-four cylinder engines have a long tradition at Porsche – and they have enjoyed incredible success. In the late 1950s, the 718 – a successor to the legendary Porsche 550 Spyder – represented the highest configuration level of the flat-four cylinder engine. Whether it was at the 12-hour race in Sebring in 1960 or the European Hill Climb Championship which ran between 1958 and 1961, the Porsche 718 prevailed against numerous competitors with its powerful and efficient flat-four cylinder engine. The 718 took first place twice between 1959 and 1960 at the legendary Italian Targa Florio race in Sicily. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1958, the 718 RSK with its 142-hp four-cylinder engine achieved a significant class victory.

Porsche Cayman And Boxster Will be Renamed To 718 Cayman And 718 Boxster
- image 659302

Porsche 919 Hybrid: technological front-runner for production sports cars

In 2014, Porsche returned to the top category of the famous endurance race in Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship (WEC) with the 919 Hybrid race car. The LMP1 vehicle, which was designed to be extremely efficient, is the most complex race car that Porsche has ever built. It serves as a platform to further fundamental technology research for future production models – combining two different energy recovery systems with a 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: