Call Me 718: Porsche Changes Names of Boxster, Cayman For Some Reason
Porsche announced Wednesday that it would change the model names for 2016 of its Boxster and Cayman models to “718 Boxster” and “718 Cayman” because there was once a race car in the 1950s and 1960s that had four cylinders and competed in a bunch of races, I guess. Either that, or Porsche is really into the Queens area code.
Oh yeah, and the company confirmed what we heard in September: the mid-engined Stuttgart machines will get a turbo fours instead of flat sixes from here on out. (Maybe GT4 models will retain the 3.8-liter six. Maybe.)
The name change seems, well, odd. Despite the loose association with a 60-year-old car, the switch to 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman seems to add a level of unnecessary naming convention for a German company that counts the ounces of its seatbelts for chrissakes.
What’s unclear is how the name change would impact the rest of the automaker’s lineup.
Will the next-generation Panamera become the 989 Panamera? (That concept was rear-engined, I know.) Will the Cayenne and Macan follow suit with another digit? What does this all mean?
According to Porsche, the Cayman and Boxster will grow closer together visually and in terms of price. The Cayman will cost less than the Boxster next year — right now the droptop is $500 cheaper than the coupe — and both cars will sport turbo fours planted midships.
Porsche didn’t provide specifics on the engines for the new cars, but it’s likely that the base 718s will get a 2-liter turbo four that makes 240 horsepower and 718 S models could get 2.5-liter fours that make 300 horsepower. Stay tuned for more details on that.
The naming decision totally makes sense. Boxster, 911, Cayman. Do you see any coherence here? Probably not. What about 911, 944, 958? Seems like a coherence, doesn't it? It seems like Porsche is returning to its naming roots.
Chevy will sell you a Malibu with a 2.0 turbo 4 cyl that makes almost 260 hp, so I guess we're done trying to make the engines special in a Porsche? I haven't lusted over a Porsche since the mid 90's so I'm clearly not in the target demographic.
I'm mad the obvious title wasn't chosen.... 1-718-PORSCHE
Riffing off the coincidence of the 718 area code, which was Brooklyn back in the 80s, maybe Porsche should start making regional editions. 914 and 203 for suburbanites, 310 for LA, 206 for Microsofties, etc.