New spy pics of Porsche's next Boxster, which will be launched in 2012 with a four-cylinder engine

Testing of the new Porsche Boxster has now switched to the Arctic Circle, as these latest spy pictures reveal. The new Boxster has dropped much of the camouflage of the previous test cars spied and some of its real bodywork – including parts of the front and the doors - is now visible.

As is the norm with Porsche styling, it will be evolution rather than revolution with the new Boxster. However, its wheelbase and overall length will both grow, the latter to nearly 4.4 metres, providing more passenger and luggage space. This will also allow Porsche to introduce a new ‘baby’ Boxster, based on the new mechanicals of the VW BlueSport roadster.

The timing of the arrival of the new convertible coincides with the end of Porsche’s contract with Valmet Automotive in Finland, where the current Boxster and Cayman are made. In early 2012, production of the cars will switch to Stuttgart.

Every panel in the Boxster will be new, as will the fabric roof. The new panels will be lighter, too, to keep weight to a minimum.

Read more on Porsche's new baby Boxster

The next Boxster will also be a showcase for Porsche’s downsized petrol engines as it bids to cut its overall CO2 fleet emissions. Outgoing head of R&D Wolfgang Durheimer revealed to Autocar at the recent Detroit show: “We have a four-cylinder boxer engine under development.” He admitted that the unit “can be applied” to the Boxster and Cayman.

Porsche had been expected to introduce a four-cylinder powerplant on its forthcoming small roadster, which shares underpinnings and parts with the VW Bluesport and a sister car from Audi. But Autocar now understands that Porsche has won an internal argument to get its own powerplant for the car. Sources say the flat four motor is 2.5 litres and has been producing around 360bhp in turbocharged form.

Our Verdict

Porsche Boxster
The Boxster is the cheapest Porsche you can buy

Does bigger mean better for Porsche’s third-generation Boxster?

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