Porsche Cayman Compact, A Four-Cylinder Improbability?

Would a Porsche Cayman in compact form with only four-cylinders be realistic for one of the world’s best-known sports car makers? Porsche has promised to unveil a new compact sports car at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show. Rumor has it that it could be a four-cylinder version of the Porsche Cayman, which was first outed at Inquisitr earlier this month.

A prototype of the Porsche Cayman has been seen road testing and on the track around the globe for at least two years now. This would be a new-generation of the Cayman, sharing a platform with the iconic Boxster. The Boxster has a 2.7-liter six-cylinder engine at its base and a larger 3.4-liter six for the sportier Boxster S model. Until now, most have assumed that these would be the engines offered in a new Porsche Cayman.

Now, it’s not so clear. A new video shown on Jalopnik seems to be telling a different story. In that video, Porsche Cayman buffs are saying they’re hearing four cylinders, not six. The video features two cars — a Cayman prototype and an older Cayman — circling the world-famous Nurburgring race circuit. As they pass the camera, the sounds coming from the cars are distinctly different. Some are saying that the Porsche Cayman sounds more like a turbocharged four-cylinder than a larger-displacement six.

This would be interesting, as rumored numbers for the Porsche Cayman have been in the 5.2-5.5 second 0-60 mph range with likely more horsepower output than the Boxster in order to achieve that. This was the assumption at Motorward regarding the new Cayman.

That could be out on its ear, though, as the United States is the top sales market for Porsche, and a new compact offering would have to be the company’s ringleader towards new fuel efficiency requirements. To achieve that, the Porsche Cayman may very well have to house a smaller engine outputting bigger results – a trend that has been going on with many new vehicles lately.

On the other hand, we can at least rest assured that a shooting brake version of the Porsche Cayman is not very likely. Regardless, Porsche is riding high in sales, seeing a 13 percent increase year-on-year and providing the impetus for the new unveiling in Los Angeles rather than closer to their home in Germany. If the Porsche Cayman is their unveil next month, many will be interested in the final powerplant choice for the new sports car.