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FLAT-SIX RETURN FOR 718 TWINS
Last hurrah for Porsche’smid-engine pairing
File this firmly under rumour for now. But momentum is building around the idea that Porsche is preparing to fit flat six engines to the 718 Boxster and Cayman. For the record, this mooted move is separate to the upcoming 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Boxster Spyder which are also expected to adopt flat-six motors in place of the the mainstream 718’s turbocharged flat four.
The GT4 and Spyder are the work of Porsche’s extreme GT division, while the additional new flat-six models are rumoured to be known as the 718 6 and slot in below those motorsport derived cars but above existing four-cylinder 718s.
This particular story began when what was initially thought to be a wingless 718 GT4 mule was spotted testing accompanied by a distinct flat-six soundtrack. At first, the assumption was that Porsche was preparing a so-called 718 GT4 Touring model along the lines of the recent 911 GT3 model with the same suffix.
However, closer inspection revealed the car not only lacked the GT4’S more aggressive bodywork, including bumpers and side intake scoops, but also the GT4’S bigger brakes and wheels. Then a 718 Boxster was spotted sporting standard bodywork and a flat-six engine note and it was clear that the GT4 Touring idea was off target.
As for specifics, it’s all speculation. But the weight of opinion indicates an atmospheric 3.8 to 4.0-litre motor with around 380hp. Enough to put space between this ‘718 6’ and the 365hp 718 GTS, in other words, but squeeze in below the 718 GT4, which is expected to offer around 420hp. There’s also the minor matter of not outgunning the new Type-992 base 911, which is likely to deliver around 400hp from its turbocharged 3.0-litre flat six.
Speaking of the 911 Carrera’s turbocharged flat six, if the 718 6 rumour does turn out to be accurate, the implications for Porsche’s overall sports car portfolio will be intriguing to say the least. Currently, the only way to get a naturally aspirated flat six in a 911 is to go for one of Porsche’s extreme motorsport models, including the GT3, GT3 RS and the upcoming Speedster. But if the 718 6 goes ahead, you’ll be able to buy a relatively mainstream 718 with an atmospheric flat six. But not a 911.
Exactly what message a return to flat sixes for non-gt 718 models will say about the existing flat-four motor is a tricky question. The market in which the 718 operates – that of the mid-priced two seat sports car – isn’t exactly booming worldwide. Meanwhile, Porsche has seemingly opted not to replace the 718 with a new car based on the 992, something which would normally be happening this year if Porsche followed its usual launch schedule.
Instead, Porsche is thought to be considering an all-new pure electric model to replace the 718 around the 2023 timeframe. If that’s accurate, then a sixcylinder 718 designed to maintain interest in the model as it ages might make sense. After all, if the 718 is dropping combustion engines altogether, it hardly matters if reintroducing the flat six for a year or two makes the flat four models look like an accident.
Over 100 supercars will descend upon Goodwood Motor Circuit in Chichester on Saturday, 1st June as part of The Supercar Event 2019. The event offers once-in-a- lifetime passenger rides in some of the world’s most iconic and luxurious supercars from just £20, raising money for The Children’s Trust charity, helping children with brain injury.
Every year, 40,000 children in the UK are left with a brain injury as a result of an accident or illness and many have to live with ongoing, long-term difficulties. The Children’s Trust gives children and young people with brain injury and neurodisability opportunities to live the best life possible, by providing specialist rehabilitation, education and community services across the UK.
Amongst the supercars on show will be a heavily modified Porsche 996 Turbo running a turbocharged RSR engine built by Nine Excellence in Surrey and Protomotive in the United States. The engine was built using the block from a GT3 RS 4.0 coupled with an RSR crankshaft and bespoke pistons with H pattern steel rods for maximum strength. The car runs around 1000bhp with 890bhp at the wheels and remains legal for road use.
Well known personalities, such as Chris Evans, Andrea Mclean, Phil Tufnell and Shane Richie have taken part previously, helping raise thousands of pounds for The Children’s Trust. British Indycar driver and former Formula 1 driver Max Chilton who has been part of the action at The Supercar Event said “the event is breathtaking. People love getting so close to the world’s most spectacular cars”.
Now on its 13th year, the event also offers a wide range of attractions and entertainment, from helicopter rides to hovercrafts. Younger guests can also have their first driving experience with the Stay Safe Driving School (age 14 and above). Family entrance tickets (two adults, two children aged four to 16) are £30, adult tickets are £12, while child and concession tickets clocking at £8. Special VIP tickets can be had for £160 and supercar rides must be purchased separately. Be speedy and book now via thesupercarevent.com.