Those who've been anxiously awaiting the return of the four-cylinder Porsche will be glad to know that the wait is almost over. What's more, the quad-pot Porsches won't be kept away from US showrooms but will form an integral part of the company's North American strategy.

Confirmation comes courtesy of Automotive News, which spoke to the company's chief executive Matthias Müller about its return to four-cylinder power. "First of all, we will have it in the Boxster and Cayman successor," Müller told AN. "And then we will see how it works and how successful it is and how the customers will react on that, and then we will take the next decisions."

The model to which Müller refers is expected to be the 718 – a new line taking the place of the Boxster and Cayman, ostensibly allowing Zuffenhausen to start from scratch rather than "downsizing" the engine on existing models. The new range is anticipated to launch sometime in the middle of next year.

Porsche is currently offering a 2.0-liter inline-four with 234 horsepower in the Macan (which we get with V6s) for certain markets overseas, but the 718 is expected to get a new flat-four 2.0- and 2.5-liter displacements with output edging up to 395 horsepower. The last time Porsche offered a four-pot in the US was with the front-engined 968 that wrapped up production two decades ago, but it hasn't offered a boxer four since 1976.

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