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New Boxster incoming? Porsche reportedly offering detuned Boxster in Belgium

When Porsche first teased the idea of a new four-cylinder engine, some purists groaned at the thought.

After the introduction of numb electric steering in the 911 and the possibility of a hybrid, the last thing that Porsche needs is another 924.

Luckily, the four-bangers bring good news. The engines will reportedly receive forced induction and produce up to 360 horsepower, so if the German automaker wants to reduce cost on entry-level models, Porsche will probably have to go a different route.

A new Boxster has just gone on sale in Belgium, and although Porsche has yet to release an official statement on the car, it looks like the company has found its alternative: detune the 2.7-liter flat six.

In standard guise, the Boxster pumps out 265 hp from its 2.7-liter engine, but the latest iteration, which looks to be region specific, only makes 211 hp.

The power is still good enough for a 6.1 second 0 to 60 mph sprint with the PDK automatic, and top speed hovers around the 150 mph range. However, it’s hard to see an upside to a slower Boxster at first glance.

Related: Refreshed ‘992’ generation Porsche 911 could debut at LA Auto Show

The only reasonable explanation, then, is that the lower power output could reduce import taxation costs. In many countries, import taxes are scaled based on a car’s horsepower and CO2 emissions, so some Porsche buyers could benefit from the smaller power output with a larger spending account.

Way back in 2009, Porsche detuned a few Boxsters and Caymans for import into Norway. The Boxster had about 40 hp taken off the top and received an impressive $15,621 price cut as a result. The Cayman, similarly, was detuned by around 50 hp and cost $18,819 less.

It doesn’t look like it will matter for much longer, because the 2.7-liter flat six is rapidly approaching retirement. Three new four-cylinders have already been designed, and it looks like two of them will find their way into the Boxster of the future.

The first engine, a 2.0-liter turbo four, is said to be good for 286 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque. A larger unit comes in at 2.5 liters and makes an impressive 360 hp and 347 lb-ft. The smallest version, coming in at 1.6-liters, was planned for an entry-level roadster that has since been scrapped.