2015 Porsche Cayman S on 2040-cars
Amarillo, Texas, United States
2015 Porsche Cayman S.
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Auto blogWed, 23 Jul 2014
Just as they did in the Initial Quality Study, Porsche and Hyundai have taken the premium and non-premium crown, respectively, for the 2014 J.D. Power APEAL study. This is the tenth consecutive year for that Porsche has been rated the best premium make in the APEAL study, which attempts to figure out how pleased owners are with their purchases. For 2014, it asked 86,000 owners of MY2014 cars to rate their vehicles in 77 different categories 90 days after their initial purchase. The resulting figures were plugged in deliver the APEAL score, which is rated on a 1,000-point scale.
The industry average sits at 794 points for 2014, although that's a one-percent decline over last year's rating. In this year's study, premium brands averaged 840 out of 1,000, while non-premium makes average 785. For their part, Porsche netted an impressive 882 points, while Hyundai earned an 804. Interestingly, only four non-premium brands (Hyundai, Ram, Volkswagen and Mini) finished above the industry average for 2014.
It's also interesting to see the clear delineation between premium and non-premium brands, with an eight-point gap between the non-premium champ, Hyundai, and the lowest-rated premium brand, Volvo.
When Porsche released the first Boxster in 1996 and the first Cayman in 2005, the idea was to create an entry-level model for the German automaker's sports car range. The latest iterations of both closely related models, however, have begun to encroach dangerously on the 911's territory, particularly in their newest GTS specifications. That could be about to change, however, with the introduction of a four-cylinder engine for the compact mid-engined coupe and roadster.
According to Automotive News, Porsche is finally preparing to launch a new boxer four engine in the Boxster and Cayman, following years of speculation. The engine would be based on the same architecture as the company's famous flat six, but with two fewer cylinders to cut weight. Don't expect it to cut much in the way of performance, however: Porsche chief Matthias Muller indicates that the new engine could produce as much as 395 horsepower - significantly more than even the 340hp flat six in the Cayman GTS, suggesting that the engine could even find its way into the 911 as well.
It's no more clear which markets would get the four-cylinder engine, either. But wherever it is offered and in whichever form, it wouldn't be the first time we'd see a Porsche with a four-pot engine. Not by a long shot. Both the classic 912 and 356 were powered by boxer fours, as was the 914 - not to mention the 718 pictured above and the iconic 550 Spyder. The front-engined 924, 944 and 968 packed inline-four engines, but the last of those were discontinued in the 1990s. The prospect of a four-cylinder Boxster/Cayman has been rumored for many years now, most recently joined by the possibility of a four-pot Macan as well.
A few years ago, reports surfaced that Porsche was planning a new supercar. But the latest intel suggests that the plan has been put indefinitely on the back burner.
The project alternately referred to as 960 or 988 was put forth by CEO Matthias Müller shortly after he assumed control of the German automaker. It called for a mid-engined V8 supercar to slot in between the 911 and the 918 Spyder to take on the likes of the Ferrari 458 Italia, McLaren 650S and sister-company Lamborghini's Gallardo and subsequent Huracán.
Now three years since the idea was first mooted, the vehicle has yet to materialize. According to Autocar, Porsche is putting a greater emphasis on refreshing its existing lineup. Which is probably just as well, because the mid-engined supercar would have a heck of a challenge on its hands to differentiate itself in terms of performance from the 911 GT3 and 911 Turbo, which already give the 458 and company a run for their money.