Put Down Your Pitchforks: the History of Porsche Flat-Fours

Judging from enthusiast reaction, the only people happy to hear base-model Boxsters and Caymans might come with a small-displacement flat-four engine are the folks at Tim's Emporium o' Pitchforks n' Torches.

A Porsche sportscar without a sweet-spinning flat-six? Heresy! Blasphemy! Rhubarb-rhubarb-rhubarb!

Not so fast, angry mob—no need to storm the gates of Zuffenhausen and set fire to the Castle of Stuttgart. Porsche's heritage echoes loudly with the thrum of horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engines.

Put Down Your Pitchforks: the History of Porsche Flat-Fours

Matter of fact, while the company's decision to turn to a smaller engine might be directed by modern emissions constraints and fuel-economy requirements, it's also a return to the past. After a two-decade break, the four-cylinder Porsche is back and, as it happens, that's where the whole journey started.

Get the full story over on Autofocus.ca.

Top photo: Porsche Type 356 "No.1", the very first 356/1 built; courtesy Michael Banovsky