A flathead, also called a boxer engine, was first introduced in 1897 by Karl Benz – a two-cylinder on a single crank that was horizontally opposed. Since then, boxer engines have struggled to take a significant place in the market. Even small and simple tasks like replacing a spark plug on these engines require special tools and take a lot of time, which is why these engines get little love. Oil consumption, leaks, etc. were other obstacles to their success.
But despite these bizarre features of the boxer engines, many enthusiasts and car manufacturers continue to love these engines because they offer advantages such as better weight distribution and a lower center of gravity, which is especially desirable in sports cars†
Nowadays only Subaru and Porsche still use boxer engines. That said, it’s clear that the second-hand market is the best place to look for a boxer engine car. These engines have their own quirks and characteristics, so we’ve put together a list of the best boxer engine sports cars for you.
8 2019 Toyota 86 (Subaru BRZ)
The 86 that Toyota offers, like the and Subaru BRZ, is one of the more accessible entry-level sports car toys for enthusiasts. It offers a 205 hp 2.0 liter horizontally mounted (boxer) four-cylinder engine. The engine comes with two transmission options, a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
The 86 is a great option for those looking for a coupe with great handling and excellent reliability. You can find this one easily for about $28,000making it one of the best buys for the price.
7 2018 Subaru WRX ST
Subaru has always had a reputation for using boxer engines, and the WRX STI proves its worth no different. It’s a car with a fairly modest appearance, but car enthusiasts know exactly what to expect from one of these: affordable fun and all-weather performance.
The 2018 version features a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer engine capable of producing 310 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque. Reliability is not an issue for this car either. Many owners have reported that putting miles on this one is a breeze with regular maintenance.
6 Porsche 911 Turbo 2017
Porsche first introduced the boxer engine in 1948, for the model 356. They have continued to use the flat configuration in some of its most beloved models to this day. For example, the Porsche 911 has been getting its power from a flat-six since its launch in 1964. The 2017 911 Turbo can produce 540 horsepower and 523 lb-ft with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
This powertrain has proven its reliability and will last over 100,000 miles if properly maintained with regular maintenance. For example, the 911 Turbo S is a bit hard on money, but it is worth every penny.
5 2014 Porsche Cayman
Another Porsche makes the list. This time it’s the Cayman. The first Cayman debuted in 2005 as a coupé alternative to the much-loved Boxster. One of the best Porsche deals on the pre-owned market, the 2014 Cayman comes with a 2.7-liter 6-cylinder boxer engine that produces 275 horsepower and 213 lb-ft of torque.
You can easily find these for around $30,000-$40,000 lightly used. Plus, the Cayman will stay with you for the long haul if you take good care of it and don’t miss an oil change. It can cover more than 150,000 miles with ease.
4 2018 Porsche Boxster
Porsche Boxster is a two-seat roadster that first debuted in late 1996. It has received many updates, such as the recent 2.0L 4-cylinder boxer engine that delivers 300 horsepower on tap to the driver. The previous generations of Boxster came with a 6-cylinder engine that sounded more symphonic.
The Boxster’s power figures may not amuse some aficionados, but trust us, it’s more than enough to make you laugh. Not to mention its incredible handling capabilities, one of the Boxster’s USPs. The car has an extremely low center of gravity, holds the road like not many other sports cars do, and offers incredibly precise and responsive steering.
3 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
The fourth Porsche on this list and also the most agile, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is perfect for the racetrack as Porsche configured it with improved suspension, bigger brakes, more sound deadening and the option to remove rear seats.
The Porsche 911 Turbo S has the upper hand over the competition in terms of power, but the best thing about the 911 GT3 RS is its precise handling. It also features a naturally aspirated motor, which just adds more entertainment to the record.
2 1998 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 22B
Subaru has been making boxer engines since 1966 and has no intention of abandoning them any time soon. The Impreza WRX STI 22B is extremely rare, as Subaru has only made about 425 units for the entire world. This makes it one of the most sought-after tuner cars to come out of Japan in the 1990s.
At the time, JDMs did not disclose detailed charts of their engine performance because of the Gentleman’s Agreement in 1988 to limit engine power to 280 horsepower. However, it is believed that the 22B could produce about 310-340 horsepower, which makes it even more attractive.
1 1992 Ferrari 512 Testarossa
The Ferrari Testarossa needs no introduction. The Pininfarina design defined the wedge-shaped supercar in the late 1980s. It’s one of those legends that car enthusiasts and even their moms know from the many features in 80s movies and sitcoms like Miami Vice† The Yuppies 2and American father†
It is the successor to the Ferrari Berlinetta and was the last Ferrari car with a version of the flat-12 engine: the 4.9-litre Tipo F113 flat-12 with a rear-mounted 5-speed manual transmission. It produces about 428 horsepower at 6,750 rpm and 362 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm. Buying one of these can cost you a pretty penny, but it’s the cool factor alone that makes it worth it.