Porsche reviving 718 name for new Boxster and Cayman

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The next-generation Boxster and Cayman are coming next year, and when they launch, they'll have a new name: 718. There's historical significance there – in 1957, Porsche launched the 718 racecar with a mid-mounted, four-cylinder engine. And when the new Boxster and Cayman come to market, they'll be powered by a new turbocharged, flat-four engine, mounted amidships just like in the current cars. That powertrain isn't a surprise, but the name change certainly is.

Officially, the cars will be called 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, and Porsche says the two models "will share more similarities than ever before," both visually and mechanically. What's more, Porsche confirms the 718 Boxster will carry a higher price tag than the 718 Cayman, which is a switch from the company's current pricing strategy – right now, a base Cayman costs $500 more than a standard Boxster.

Technical details haven't been confirmed yet, but an earlier report suggests the 2.0-liter flat-four will produce 240 horsepower in the base cars and 300 hp in the S models. GTS versions are tipped to produce as much as 370 hp from this same flat-four engine.

Both 718 models will be unveiled throughout the course of 2016. Have a look below for Porsche's official statement.

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Boxster and Cayman to be branded as 718 model range next year
Porsche's mid-engine sports cars to receive new name

Atlanta, Georgia. The mid-engine sports cars from Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG will be named 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, respectively, when the models are introduced over the course of 2016. The 718 designation is a reference to the ground-breaking sports car Porsche introduced back in 1957, which achieved great success in a number of renowned car races. The 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman will share more similarities than ever before – both visually and technically. In the future, both will have equally powerful turbocharged flat-four cylinder engines. The Roadster will be positioned at a higher price level than the Coupe – as is the case with the 911 models.

The 718 model range is driven by the four-cylinder concept and the history of distinguished Porsche sports cars. The latest example is the 919 Hybrid LMP1 race car, which is powered by a highly-efficient, turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine. This powerplant not only helped Porsche finish first and second in the 24 hours of Le Mans, but it also helped win the manufacturer's and driver's championship titles in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) this year. With these victories, the 919 Hybrid has showcased the performance potential of future sports car engines from Porsche.

History of the 718: flat-four cylinder engine has achieved many racing victories

Flat-four cylinder engines have a long tradition at Porsche – and they have enjoyed incredible success. In the late 1950s, the 718 – a successor to the legendary Porsche 550 Spyder – represented the highest configuration level of the flat-four cylinder engine. Whether it was at the 12-hour race in Sebring in 1960 or the European Hill Climb Championship which ran between 1958 and 1961, the Porsche 718 prevailed against numerous competitors with its powerful and efficient flat-four cylinder engine. The 718 took first place twice between 1959 and 1960 at the legendary Italian Targa Florio race in Sicily. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1958, the 718 RSK with its 142-hp four-cylinder engine achieved a significant class victory.

Porsche 919 Hybrid: technological front-runner for production sports cars

In 2014, Porsche returned to the top category of the famous endurance race in Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship (WEC) with the 919 Hybrid race car. The LMP1 vehicle, which was designed to be extremely efficient, is the most complex race car that Porsche has ever built. It serves as a platform to further fundamental technology research for future production models – combining two different energy recovery systems with a 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine.

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