Porsche’s next Boxster range could include a low-CO2 model using a new four-cylinder engine or even a turbocharged three-cylinder powerplant, a senior company source has confirmed.
Boxster model line director Hans-Jurgen Wohler told Autocar that a version of the firm’s entry-level model with a downsized engine would be one way to reduce Porsche’s fleet emissions, were it required by the time EU emissions limits apply to car makers in 2012.
“A Boxster with a four-cylinder engine, or maybe even a three-cylinder turbo, could produce between 180bhp and 200bhp and emit just 180g/km of CO2,” said Wohler. “Given the Boxster’s history — that it started with a 200bhp, 2.5-litre engine — I think this is possibly something that customers could accept.
“We are under a great deal of pressure from the EU law makers to reduce emissions, but we don’t know yet how much we’ll have to come down by,” he added.
According to EU law, car makers such as Porsche that make fewer than 300,000 cars a year won’t need to hit 120g/km by 2012; instead, they’ll simply have to demonstrate that they’ve reduced their fleet CO2 emissions by 25 per cent compared with 2006 levels in order to avoid fines. However, it’s not yet fully understood how Porsche’s majority ownership by VW will affect its emissions classifications and consequent obligations.
“A low-carbon Boxster would certainly help us to reduce emissions, but it won’t be an automatic saviour,” said Wohler. “The Boxster isn’t the volume seller for us that everyone thinks. On current performance, it’s worth 15,000 units per year maximum.”