"WARNING! Cigarettes or cigars can be blown into the air inlets (A) by the air flow and cause a fire in the engine compartment." That's the warning that Porsche has placed in the owners manuals of Boxsters and Caymans, and it's hardly a reassuring passage. It seems as unlikely a scenario as one can possibly imagine, but the fact that it's included in the manual means it has to have been imagined by someone at some point, or more horrifically survived by someone at some point. The 981 generation cars certainly had larger and more pronounced engine air inlets than in previous generations, especially with the vent extension included on the Cayman GT4 iteration. With the 982 generation "718" Boxster and Cayman, Porsche opened these side vents even further and extended them out into the air flow to catch and route engine air to the turbocharger inlets (driver's side) and the air-to-water intercooler and auxiliary radiators (passenger's side) [pictured above]. These inlets are apparently susceptible to capturing hot ashes or still-lit cigarette butts and trapping them in the intakes where they can burn similarly trapped leaves or other detritus.
Imagine you're driving along in your Cayman on your favorite B-road with a half-stogie hanging out of your chaw, a good one, one of those that just came into the country legally from Cuba. You're getting down to the last few drags and your finger tips are starting to get hot from proximity to ember. You hang your arm low out the window and release it to the ground. You figure that it'll easily extinguish as soon as it hits the ground, as the roadways are still a bit slick from a recent rainfall. Instead, it gets sucked right up into the engine inlet and the few last vestiges of dried leaf immediately WHUMP alight. Not long afterward you're standing on the side of the road watching your brand new Guards Red base Cayman 6-speed self-immolate into a pile of molten alloys. Be careful with your smoking sticks, and this won't happen to you.