Porsche RS 60 and Boxster

When Porsche released the first Boxster in 1996 and the first Cayman in 2005, the idea was to create an entry-level model for the German automaker's sports car range. The latest iterations of both closely related models, however, have begun to encroach dangerously on the 911's territory, particularly in their newest GTS specifications. That could be about to change, however, with the introduction of a four-cylinder engine for the compact mid-engined coupe and roadster.

According to Automotive News, Porsche is finally preparing to launch a new boxer four engine in the Boxster and Cayman, following years of speculation. The engine would be based on the same architecture as the company's famous flat six, but with two fewer cylinders to cut weight. Don't expect it to cut much in the way of performance, however: Porsche chief Matthias Muller indicates that the new engine could produce as much as 395 horsepower – significantly more than even the 340-hp flat six in the Cayman GTS, suggesting that the engine could even find its way into the 911 as well.

It's no more clear which markets would get the four-cylinder engine, either. But wherever it is offered and in whichever form, it wouldn't be the first time we'd see a Porsche with a four-pot engine. Not by a long shot. Both the classic 912 and 356 were powered by boxer fours, as was the 914 - not to mention the 718 pictured above and the iconic 550 Spyder. The front-engined 924, 944 and 968 packed inline-four engines, but the last of those were discontinued in the 1990s. The prospect of a four-cylinder Boxster/Cayman has been rumored for many years now, most recently joined by the possibility of a four-pot Macan as well.