Porsche brings back ‘718’ name for next-gen Boxster and Cayman

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 10, 2015

Porsche AG revealed that starting 2016, its models will be undergoing changeovers. The first of these changes will be the naming of its two-door mid-engine sports cars as the 718 Boxster and the 718 Cayman. The 718 numerical designation is a nod to the trailblazing sports car of the same type in 1957.

Both the 718 Boxster and the 718 Cayman have a number of similarities technically and visually. The Stuttgart-based automaker declares that the two models will later have turbocharged four-cylinder flat engines. The main difference between the two is that the Roadster will be more expensive than the Coupé.

This is the standard practice of the brand like with its 911 models. The two models will be introduced in the market within 2016. Porsche is well-known for its sports cars and the utilization of the four-cylinder concept. This long history is continued with the 718 series.

Take the 919 Hybrid LMP1 for example. Not only did it perform well in races but its engine is highly-efficient with merely 2 litres of displacement. This allowed Porsche to obtain first and second place finishes during the 24 hours of Le Mans in 2014.

The company’s race car also managed to win not just the driver’s championship title during the World Endurance Championship in the same year, but even earned the manufacturer’s championship title. Due to these many victories, the 919 Hybrid has raised expectations for the performance of the brand’s future engines.

The 919 Hybrid LMP1 was originally designed to show extreme efficiency and is considered as the most complex race car even built by the brand. It is because of the turbocharged engine and the two energy recovery systems that Porsche decided to make the 919 Hybrid as the platform for future models.

The success of the 919 is mainly due to a long tradition of the four-cylinder flat engine that started with the 718. The 718 gained prominence during the latter part of the 1950s not just because of its engine configuration but due to it being the heir of its 550 Spyder.

The 718 has managed to win the Sebring 12-hour race in 1960 and the European Hill Climb Championship, which only took place from 1958 to 1961. Other races the 718 won include the Italian Targa Florio race held in Sicily in 1959 and 1960. During the 1958 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 718 RSK also managed to attain a class victory.

Press Release

Boxster and Cayman now to be marketed as 718 model series

The 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman – these will be the new names of the two-door mid-engine sports cars from Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG effective with the 2016 model changeover. The Stuttgart car manufacturer’s 718 designation is a reference to the ground-breaking sports car of this type of the year 1957, which enjoyed much success in renowned car races. The 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman are showing more similarities – both visual and technical. In the future, both will have equally powerful four-cylinder flat engines with turbocharging. The Roadster will be positioned at a higher price level than the Coupé – as is done for the 911 models. Porsche will introduce the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman over the course of 2016.

The 718 model series is a continuation of the proven four-cylinder concept and the history of distinguished Porsche sports cars. The latest example is the 919 Hybrid LMP1 race car, which also has a highly-efficient, turbocharged four-cylinder engine with just 2 litres of displacement. So, not only did Porsche finish first and second in the 24 hours of Le Mans, but most recently it also won the manufacturer’s and driver’s championship titles in the WEC World Endurance Championship. With these victories, the 919 Hybrid has opened up the prospects for the performance potential of future sports car engines from Porsche.

History of the 718: four-cylinder flat engine has many car racing victories
Four-cylinder flat 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 four-cylinder flat engine. Whether it was competing at the 12-hour race in Sebring in 1960 or at the European Hill Climb Championship that ran between 1958 and 1961, the Porsche 718 prevailed against numerous competitors with its powerful and efficient four-cylinder flat engine. The 718 took first place in 1959 and 1960 at the legendary Italian Targa Florio race in Sicily. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans race 1958, the 718 RSK with its 142-hp four-cylinder engine scored a class victory.

Porsche 919 Hybrid: technological front-runner for production cars
In 2014, Porsche returned to the top category of the famous endurance race in Le Mans and the WEC world endurance championship with the 919 Hybrid race car. The LMP1 vehicle, which was designed for extreme efficiency, is the most complex race car that Porsche has ever built. It serves as a platform for fundamental technology research for future production models – combining two different energy recovery systems with a two-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine.

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