2012 Porsche Boxster – Click above for high-res image gallery

As expected, the Spyder is the send-off model for the current generation Porsche Boxster (987), so a new version – rumored to carry the 981 designation – is under development.

Like anything hailing from Stuttgart, any changes to Boxster's chassis and exterior will be minor, with more shapely sheetmetal adorning the outside and a few minor modifications to the suspension, brakes and assorted underbody bits. Naturally, a few interior tweaks are part of the package, but the big news is the possible addition of a four-cylinder powerplant for the 2012 model year.

While the 2.9- and 3.4-liter flat six-cylinder engines will likely carryover with minor bumps in horsepower and torque, there's talk of a four-cylinder Boxster being added to Porsche's line-up just above its oft-rumored entry-level model – a rebirth of the 914 co-developed with Volkswagen and Audi. Additionally, Porsche has confirmed it will begin testing three Boxsters with electric drivetrains next year, but technical details on the EVs have yet to be released.

Initial speculation suggested that the 2012 Boxster could make an appearance at the Paris Motor Show this fall, but the smart money is on a Geneva debut in March.

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