There was a time when all of Porsche’s mid-engined offerings came with the distinctive growl of a six-cylinder engine. However, with the 718 opting for a more economical turbocharged four-cylinder, some enthusiasts complain there’s something missing in the noise department.

While we already knew that the company is working on a new 4.0-liter flat-six for the returning GT4, rumors arose that the engine could make its way into less-hardcore variants of the 718 after a basic-looking Boxster was spotted during cold weather testing earlier this year. Porsche has apparently kept at it, as another 4.0-liter Boxster test mule was spotted at the Nürburgring along with a non-GT4 Cayman, according to autoevolution.

If the displacement sounds familiar, its because it’s already available in the 911 GT3. Porsche is simply planning on making it available inside the 718, albeit detuned, to get that sexy sound and linear oomph. Reports suggest that the naturally aspirated 4.0-liter engine in the GT4 will produce somewhere around 425 horsepower. Lesser 718 models, which are expected to roped into a “Touring” trim, are expected to get by with fewer than 400 horses — with four-cylinder models remaining available.

While this author doesn’t have a problem with a gently muffled four-banger, so long as there is plenty of turbo spool and intake noise, adding a more attainable six-cylinder seems like a smart move. Purists will be pleased and Porsche will probably be able raise its margins on the — hypothetical and presumably more popular — Touring models.

Porsche is expected to make an official announcement regarding the vehicles later this year.

[Images: Porsche]




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