Like every other automaker looking to sell cars and trucks across the pond, Porsche has little choice but to comply with Europe's strict 2012 CO2 laws. Autocar is reporting that one way Porsche could reduce its fleet-wide CO2 numbers is with smaller displacement powertrains, and the light weight and entry-level model status of the Boxster makes the roadster a prime candidate for downsizing.
Boxster director Hans-Jürgen Wöhler reportedly told Autocar that he sees a four-cylinder engine and perhaps even a turbocharged three-cylinder engine in the ragtop's future, adding that the small displacement engines "could produce between 180 and 200 horsepower and emit just 180g/km of CO2." Since Porsche sells fewer than 300,000 vehicles per year, the German sportscar maker reportedly won't have to hit the EU's ambitious 120 g/km 2012 regulations but it will have to reduce its emissions by 25 percent compared to its 2006 fleet average.
Problem is, Porsche reportedly hasn't been told exactly which CO2 number it needs to shoot for. Also unknown is whether Volkswagen's majority ownership could affect Porsche's status as an automaker with fewer than 300,000 vehicles made per year. If Porsche isn't given low volume status or if the Boxster's volume doesn't cut CO2 emissions enough, the German automaker may need to downsize the powerplants of even more vehicles to get itself under the company's still unknown CO2 cap.
Will we be seeing three-cylinder Boxsters here in the States? Strict new fuel economy numbers in the U.S. likely won't be as tough to beat as Europe's 2012 CO2 figures and fuel remains significantly less expensive, so we're guessing that we'll continue to see boxer sixes in the trunk of our Boxsters for years to come.