The global engine downsizing and turbo-charging syndrome hits the mid-engined, two-seater Porsches for the first time, twenty years since the first Boxster was put into service. Today, Porsche unveiled a new generation of the Boxster, powered by a newly-developed range of flat four cylinder ‘boxer’ engines with turbocharging. At the same time, as promised before, a new designation is introduced; 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S.
Porsche would also like us to believe that these new models are a nod to the Porsche 718 mid-engined sports cars that won numerous races in the 1950s and 1960s, powered by four-cylinder ‘boxer’ engines. Following the “More powerful yet more fuel efficient” mantra, the new 718 Boxster’s turbocharged 2.0-litre engine develops 300 hp and 380 Nm of torque (a gain of 100 Nm) available from 1,950 rpm to 4,500 rpm. The 2.5-litre engine in the 718 Boxster S generates 420 Nm (60 Nm more) across a speed range from 1,900 rpm to 4,500 rpm, along with 350 hp.
The 718 Boxster – with optional PDK double-clutch automatic transmission and the Sport Chrono Package – sprints from 0 – 62 mph in 4.7 seconds (0.8 seconds quicker), while the 718 Boxster S accomplishes the same in 4.2 seconds (0.6 seconds faster). The top speed of the 718 Boxster is 275 km/h (170 mph), and the 718 Boxster S has a top speed of 285 km/h (177 mph). Each 718 model is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. The Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), which now features fuel-saving ‘virtual gears’ previously introduced on the 911 model series, is available as an option.
A turbocharger with variable turbine geometry is put to use in both the engines. In fact, Porsche says that they are now the only manufacturer to offer this technology in production cars with petrol engines, both in the 911 Turbo and 718 Boxster S. Porsche further claims that the new 718 Boxster models have fuel economy improvements of up to 13 per cent. Complementing the more powerful engines is new suspension tuning and uprated brakes.
The exterior design of the new model line has also been mildly updated. The nose of the 718 Boxster now features a new design of the Bi-Xenon headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights. LED headlights with four-point daytime running lights are available as a new option. The new front bumper hosts larger air inlet panels with two fins. In profile, the doors are now designed without door handle recess covers, while new 19-inch wheels are standard on the 718 Boxster S and 20-inch diameter wheels are available as an option. The rear end is emphasized by the accent strip with integrated ‘Porsche’ badge between the tail lights.
The tail lights are also completely re-designed, and are distinguished by three-dimensional LED technology and four-point brake lights. The manufacturer claims that, except for the luggage compartment lids, the windscreen and the powered convertible roof, every panel is new. Inside, a newly-designed dash panel frames the cockpit. In addition, the latest generation of Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with touchscreen and mobile phone preparation is included as standard. The navigation module is available as an option.
The new Porsche 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S are available to order today from Porsche Centres in the UK and Ireland. First deliveries will be in the Spring. The 718 Boxster is priced from £41,739.00 RRP and the 718 Boxster S from £50,695.00 RRP. (Irish prices are €67,963.00 and €86,057.00 respectively). Customers will also be invited to explore the potential of their new car, and further develop their own skills behind the wheel, by participating in a bespoke driving experience around the tracks at the recently-extended Porsche Experience Centre, Silverstone.
The wail from the naturally aspirated, flat-six motors will be missed: