“The flat-4 is just a rumor,” confirms Porsche Canada CEO Joe Lawrence, speaking over the weekend at gathering of P-car owners at the ALMS race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Lawrence does, however, admit that if it was up to him, it might not be, and even went on to comment further about the iconic sports car brand and the real world realities of fuel economy and emissions.
“I’d like to see it,” he confirms, of the small displacement turbocharged four-cylinder that was rumored to power an equally uncertain (and now on hold) baby Boxster model. But with Porsche facing increasingly strict regulations to meet corporate average fuel economy targets, such an engine could also power the new Boxster (above) and Cayman, replacing smaller six-cylinder offerings. In addition, it could also make for an ideal engine in upcoming models like the Macan SUV, which will slot in the Porsche range below the Cayenne.
“Porsche is not exempt from increasingly strict emissions and fuel economy regulations,” says Lawrence, hinting again that there might be truth in rumors. Speaking more broadly about the industry he tells the crowd of owners, who judging from the paddock outside, are almost exclusively 911 owners that it’s, “more likely that you’ll see more turbocharging in more vehicles moving forward.”
Keeping tight lipped about any further downsizing plans for the automaker, Lawrence did comment on another major fuel economy push by Porsche: hybridization. With the Cayenne S Hybrid and Panamera S Hybrid already on sale, he reconfirmed the brand’s plans to offer a plug-in hybrid version of the Panamera.
But Porsche aims to prove that hybrid technology can be about performance as much as fuel economy, revealing that the upcoming 918 Spyder supercar, which will be powered by two electric motors and a V8 engine, is now making “over 800-hp” in testing.