For the first time in two decades, Porsche returns to a four-cylinder recipe with a couple of new mid-engine roadsters.
Called the 718 Boxster and Boxster S, the numerical prefix is a nod to the 718 sports car from the 1950s and 60s responsible for winning more than couple of professional races — magic that Porsche hopes to recapture this summer when the 2017 version is released.
The overall profile of the new Boxsters remains a familiar shape, which doesn’t come as much of a shock given Porsche’s modest design philosophy. The front bumper’s air intakes have grown, and the headlights have been reshaped, housing optional built-in four-point LED running lights seen before on other models in the lineup like the current Cayenne. The rear fascia gets the biggest makeover sporting a cut out in-between the 3-D taillights, filled with “PORSCHE” spelled out in chrome lettering.
Don’t think for a second that losing two cylinders from the previous generation means less performance. The standard Boxster uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged flat-four motor, while the S benefits from a turbo 2.5-litre four cylinder. Horsepower generated is 300 and 350, respectively, a bump of 35 compared to previous for both trims. Advances in engine management and shift maps have resulted in an approximate 14 per cent jump in fuel economy (exact numbers are forthcoming). Both a six-speed manual transmission and a PDK dual-clutch automatic will be offered.
The suspension system is tuned to offer flatter cornering, and the electric steering system has been calibrated to yield a 10 per cent increase in steering feel giving more precise control and manoeuvrability in city driving as well as on the track. Porsche Active Suspension Management is also available as an add-on, providing a 10-millimetre-lower ride height for the Boxster, 20 mm lower for the Boxster S.
A few other fast facts: the PDK-equipped Boxster can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in less than five seconds (Boxster S: 4.4 seconds); top speed is 275 km/h (Boxster S: 285 km/h) and starting MSRP for the manual Boxster is $63,900 and $78,000 for the Boxster S.