Auto Tech

Porsche brings name, engine changes to the Boxster and Cayman

The midengined twins will henceforth collect under the 718 moniker, which is a nod to the four-cylinder Porsche racer from the late 1950s.

Porsche 718 Cayman

This only gets confusing when you realize that the Boxster and Cayman already utilize the 981 chassis code. That's a lot of numbers.

Porsche

If you're a fan of the current Porsche Boxster and Cayman, you're in for quite the surprise. Big things are in the works for Porsche's midengine offerings, including a new pricing structure, a new name and new engines.

Over the course of next year, both cars will have 718 attached to the front of their names. This is a reference to the 718 race car from the late 1950s, which was the successor to the 550a. The 718 used a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine mounted midship. It debuted at the 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The move to the 718 designation also signals a shift in Porsche's power train plans. In keeping with tradition, a forthcoming refresh will update both the Cayman and Boxster with turbocharged flat-four engines. The last time Porsche sold a midengine, four-cylinder car, it was the 914, which sold between 1969 and 1976.

Additionally, Porsche's pulling a switcheroo with the two cars' pricing. Most automakers sell coupe variants for less than convertibles, but Porsche has always been the other way around with the Boxster and Cayman. No more -- as the changes come into effect, the fixed-roof Cayman will run you less money than the drop-top Boxster.

Porsche did not supply a fleshed-out timeline for this shift, only saying that the two midmounted machines would be updated, "when the models are introduced over the course of 2016."