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Porsche's new naturally-aspirated flat-six will power other models

It was developed for the Cayman GT4 and the Boxster Spyder.

Porsche recently unveiled the 718 Cayman GT4 (pictured) and the 718 Boxster Spyder, two high-performance models powered by the same newly-developed flat-six engine. The company confirmed it didn't develop a six specifically for a pair of low-volume niche models; the engine will power other cars in the coming years.

The naturally-aspirated, 4.0-liter flat-six shares "hardly anything" with the turbocharged, 3.0-liter six found in the 911, according to Andreas Preuninger, the head of Porsche's GT division. He told Car Throttle his team developed a long list of new components -- including the crankcase, the cylinder heads, the pistons, the crankshaft, and the rods -- for the engine. Porsche took this route because the 911 Speedster's flat-six won't fit in the 718, and a turbocharged flat-four wouldn't have delivered credible performance.

"It's a massive effort [to develop the engine]. We believe in normally-aspirated engines, especially for cars in that niche -- puristic cars. To be frank with you, we can use this engine in the future on other models maybe as well," he revealed. He wouldn't confirm that non-GT models -- like the 911 Carrera -- will benefit from it, but he didn't rule it out, either.

The flat-four-powered Cayman and Boxster have received mixed reviews. Car Throttle learned the new six complies with emissions and noise regulations in Europe, so it could conceivably power the standard 718s without summoning a dark cloud of disapproval from regulators. Time will tell whether a return to naturally-aspirated power is in Porsche's product plan.

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