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The legendary Porsche 718 returns…

In the late 1950s, Porsche wrote motor-racing history with its mid-engined 718 competition car. Soon, four-cylinder Boxsters and Caymans will bear the same numerals – so what better excuse for Porsche to wheel out their great-grandfather?

Small cars, big expectations...

The Zuffenhausen factory is famous for its prowess in engineering rear-engined wonders but, with 718-badged Boxsters and Caymans on the horizon, Porsche is taking the opportunity to remind the uninitiated of its early racing successes, involving mid-engined machines that also ‘made do’ with four-cylinder power. First, the 550 Spyder was rolled out in 1953, winning the Targa Florio three years later. Then came its ‘giant-killing’ successor, the 718, which took the Sicilian crown again in 1959 and 1960 thanks to its impressive power-to-weight ratio. The Porsche Boxster 718 and Cayman 718, to be introduced in the course of the coming year, hope to follow in their ancestor’s fleet-footed steps – although they’ll call on turbocharging, the purists’ nemesis, to satisfy modern-day performance and efficiency requirements.

Photo/Video: Porsche

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