Porsche engineers have had to downsize the engine of the Boxster and its sibling the Cayman to cater to the changing and stricter European and North American emission laws and so a new 4-cylinder flat engine with turbocharging now sits behind the driver of the 718 Boxster we are test driving here. As a result, both the coupé and roadster have an identical engine output for the first time. The entry-level version starts with 300hp from 2.0-litres of displacement. The S model delivers 350hp with a displacement of 2.5-litres. This represents 25hp more power compared to the predecessor models with an NEDC fuel consumption of 8.1 to 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres. Its all going to be good for sales but how is it to drive?
Boxster 718 Design
The new 718 Boxster has taut proportions, prominent air intakes at the front and sides and low side profile underscore the boost in dynamics. The nose has a much sharper profile, which gives the front end a wider and more masculine appearance. The ultra-slim front lights above the air intakes, which contain the parking lights and indicators, further reinforce this impression. Rounding off the front end of the 718 Boxster, are the significantly larger cooling air intakes and bi-xenon headlights in their new design with integrated LED daytime running lights. LED headlights with four-point daytime running lights are available as a new option. Viewed from the side, the new sport coupé reveals its striking wings and side sills. The redesigned rear has a much wider look due to the accent strip in high-gloss black with integrated Porsche badge between the tail lights. The tail lights have been completely redesigned.
Boxster 718 Dynamics
Lateral rigidity and wheel tracking have been improved in the completely retuned chassis of the 718 Boxster; springs and stabilisers have been designed to be firmer and the tuning of the shock absorbers has been revised. The steering, which has been configured to be 10% more direct, enhances agility and driving fun. The rear wheels, which are one-half of an inch wider, in combination with the redeveloped tyres result in an increased lateral force potential and hence in greater cornering stability.
Driving dynamics options such as the Sport Chrono Package and Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) allow the sporty character of the 718 Boxster to be further customised. Another available option is PASM with a ten-millimetre lowering of the ride height and additionally in the ‘S’ model PASM sport suspension with a 20-millimetre lowering of the ride height for the first time. As in the other Porsche sports cars, the Sport Chrono Package can be adjusted via the programme switch on the steering wheel.
On account of the car’s greater driving performance capabilities, stronger brake systems are now in use with 330-millimetre brake discs in front and 299-millimetre discs at the rear.
Boxster 718 Drive
Ignite the engine and a hot, throaty sound is the first sense of excitement. Then its settles into a mild rumble, quiet and composed, almost hiding its talents from the unassuming first time driver of this Boxster 718.
Find some open tarmac and the exhilaratingly brawny 4-cylinder Turbo engine comes to life. The 350bhp output and 420Nm of torque is impressive on paper and it allows this droptop sexy Porsche to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.2 seconds, and its top speed can easily reach 250 km/h upon request. This is very near 911 performance figures.
A 8-speed PDK gearbox shifts even faster than in the previous model, directs the power of the 2.5L engine to the drive system in a seamless sea of power. The steering system based on intelligent software and is designed through and through for maximum driving enjoyment with quick response and well weighted feel. This allows this Boxster to move directly and quickly into corners with returning driver feel right to the steering allowing an accomplished driver to take on tight road bends with line accuracy and increased confidence over many other similar powered cars simply because it has a tighter chassis, smaller footprint on the road and wheels stretched to all four corners.
Boxster 718 Conclusion
Its looks closer to the 911 and has more equipment and features that will bridge the gap to the 911. Only the all out performance of the 911 and selling price will keep sales high for this open top all new 718 from Porsche.