Yes, we all know that longtime Porsche fans and owners of those sweet German flat-six models usually dismiss the four-cylinder options on the Boxster and Cayman as "not faithful" or "not a real Porsche". It doesn't help that it looks like Porsche just admitted their mistake by finally introducing the six-cylinder options for the 718s, almost as if they've been holding out on the goods. According to whichcar, Frank-Steffen Walliser, head of the 718 model line, there's much to be said about the turbo four-cylinder, and that many people don't see the bigger picture.
Gallery: 2020 Porsche 718 Boxster T / Cayman T
The smaller 2.0-liter turbo four-bangers were introduced in the Boxster and Cayman in 2016, and Walliser says it's been one of the most important strategies for the entire model lineup. I checked the sales numbers for the last twenty years and what we can see is that when we introduced the 2.0-liter, we opened the Chinese market. With their purchase tax exemption regulations and luxury tax, the 2.0-liter brought us in a completely different story."
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While he fully defends this move, he does admit that you can't please everyone and that it didn't do too well in existing and traditional Porsche markets. "With the four-cylinder, we have to say we lost some of the volume in, let me say more traditional markets. And we all know the engine is really good and the car drives very nicely but you know what I talked about emotions? This [engine] is different."
In terms of volume, Porsche says that they are number one in China for years, compensating for other markets around the world. The strategy helped these cars survive, and since it's always been good business, these 718 models continue to be a huge part of the Porsche portfolio. "Even more importantly, in the Chinese market we have a very cool car and we have a way younger target group. The group is way more female, so the typical Boxster customer is 30-year old Chinese women. And the value is unbelievably good because, for sure, once they are with Porsche, they will continue that."
"Now with adding the six-cylinder again – with the GTS and GT4 – we hope and we can already see in the order intakes that our more traditional markets, Europe, UK, Australia, US, the interest on the 718 really comes back," he says.