A Glimpse Into Porsche’s 2016 Crystal Ball
The new year is here, and with it comes several highly anticipated models from Porsche.
2015 was the Zuffenhausen brand’s best year ever in pure sales terms, with over 200 000 models being sold in a single year for the first time in its history.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key launches you can look forward to in 2016.
PORSCHE BOXSTER AND THE FLAT FOUR TURBO
This year, we’ll see a new Boxster (designated the 718-series) and this time around, the talk will be all about the mechanicals underneath the familiar skin of Porsche’s ‘baby’ sports car. For the first time, Porsche will be selling the Boxster with downsized, flat-four turbocharged motors. Base models are expected to produce around 240hp, S trim models will have 300hp and the GTS version tops out with 370hp.
Reportedly, engine packaging was one of the toughest tasks in the development of the new Boxster, with the two front cylinders replaced with the turbocharger. The question that you’ll no doubt be asking is: does it still sound and feel like a Porsche? Well, considerable effort was put into matching the smoothness of the six-cylinder units, with four active engine mounts installed for this purpose. A few early driving impressions in December indicate that a distinct and powerful baritone “voice” is very much in evidence from the driver’s seat. Add in excellent performance (the new Boxster S will hit 62mph in 5 seconds dead) and fuel efficiency which is much improved, and a more balanced package seems to await us in just a few months’ time.
First revealed in September last year, this is the freshened up 991-generation 911. For the first time, the words “911 turbo” inscribed on the back of Porsche’s halo individual model will have lost some of their exclusivity as turbocharging extends to the less powerful models in the range. This will see the Carrera and Carrera S models being fitted with a 3-liter turbocharged motor. Early driving impressions indicate subtle differences between the new engines and the previously naturally aspirated units. The whistle of the turbos adds an interesting aural effect to the still-beautiful sound of the six-cylinder, and the tiniest hint of turbo lag is negated by much improved torque and consequently everyday performance. Visually, it will take a typically meticulous inspection of the fresher 911 to pick up the tweaks, but they’re there: rear lights are sharper, new headlights with four-point daytime running lights are fitted and door handles are bereft of recess covers. Essentially, they’re the kind of subtle enhancements for which Porsche has become known.
In other news, some Porsche models will continue without any drastic change. The very successful Macan and Cayenne SUVs will continue largely as is, with both contributing hugely to Porsche’s sales success in 2015. The Macan range will however see the addition of a sporty GTS model – it will come with more power, a number of matte black exterior adornments and a suspension tuned for more agile handling.
Without a doubt, however, attention next year will be focused primarily on the turbocharged engines fitted to the Boxster, 911 and Cayman as these models prepare to trade blows with their competitors. Porsche has bravely embraced the more widespread use of turbocharging but, like the brand’s forays into the luxury car and SUV markets, opinion seems to be that they have more than done their homework to ensure that the driving experience remains distinctly Porsche.