I don't ask for much in life. A good job, happy family, and all of my idiosyncratic automotive desires made real. That doesn't seem too much to ask, right? For a while, it seemed to work, as Porsche was working on a new flat-four engine. Well, that may not be true. And there's no Santa, either, because he's dead.
Where does this awful news come from? Our pals at Motor Trend:
One Porsche engine that's not going to see the light of day is a flat-four. There was some hope that because the turbo-four will (as we've previously reported) go into a 911 that a flat, or boxer version of the engine will get built and with it the return of the loved-by-some 912 nomenclature. Seems like both the 912 badge and a modern flat-four Porsche engine are not destined for this world. The question then becomes who gets the turbo I-4 first, the 911 or the Boxster/Cayman?
Not content to let my dreams of a new 4-pot Porsche die, I reached out to Porsche themselves, who helpfully told me:
As you might expect, we don't comment on speculation regarding future product.
... which isn't exactly a surprise. And, to Porsche's credit, their media team has by far the quickest responses of any car company ever. I'm not sure it would have been as quick if I was speaking right next to the guy. Seriously, it's impressive.
I get a lot of the reason why they have no interest in a new 912 — it dilutes the 911 brand, there's no real money in going downmarket like that, it cannibalizes Cayman sales, blah blah blah. The idea of a stripped-down 911 with a light and punchy flat-4 and maybe plaid upholstery and a manual and affordable (nearly) by me is the sort of dream that keeps me going. And now Porsche just murdered that dream.
And, the idea of an inline engine in a 911? What the fuck? Sure, I get it as a perverse joke, but come on! We have limits, Porsche.
If this news is actually true, here's how the press conference announcing it is playing out in my head:
The head of Porsche's drivetrain engineering department, the demon from the movie Legend, wearing a white lab coat, walks on stage. He announces that there will be no flat-four engine for Porsche, and to illustrate his point, he knocks a perfectly-restored 356 engine off a stand onto the floor.
Then, using a machine designed to give my dreams corporeal form, he causes my neo-912 thoughts to coalesce into a floating, glowing orb in front of him. He smacks the orb to the floor, then unzips his pants and urinates on it. The urine is like acid, and melts the orb into a puddle of slurry.
He laughs, and then announces that the next 911 will have a front-mounted, transverse, inline-4. Then he introduces the band, a Kansas cover band featuring Justin Bieber and all my old elementary school bullies.
Fuck 'em all. I'll eventually just get a burned-out 2012 911 and stick a Subaru turbo flat-four back there.