Twenty years after the launch of the original Porsche Boxster, a new generation of Boxster was introduced in January 2016, with first deliveries in the UK scheduled for the spring of this year. Up until last year, the Boxster was powered by a 6-cylinder boxer engine, but this new generation of car is powered by a turbocharged flat 4-cylinder engine. This is in keeping with Porsche’s current philosophy in downsizing their engines, and applying their vast knowledge and experience in turbocharging to boost power.
The motivation behind this move draws on the company’s giant-killing mid-engined 718 sports racers of the 1950s and 1960s. These cars, such as the 718-1500 RSK, 718 RS 60/RS 61, 718 GTR and the famous 718 W-RS Spyder better known as the ‘Grossmutter’, were all powered by 4-cylinder flat engines. So by losing two cylinders, it made sense to leverage the 718 moniker from the 1950s and 1960s for this new mid-engined sports car.
Despite the downsizing of the 718 Boxster engines in this new generation, and the drop from six to four pots, the power output of the new 718 Boxster and the Boxster S is up in both models. The base engine is a 2-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged unit developing 300bhp, whereas the Boxster S is fitted with a 2.5-litre engine developing 350bhp. The more powerful model utilises variable turbine geometry. This extra power comes with economy improvements of up to 13 per cent.
The new engines have resulted in a significant jump in torque, by nearly 25 per cent, resulting in a torque of 380Nm which is available from 1950-4500rpm in the 2-litre Boxster. In the case of the 2.5-litre S engine, this figure is 420Nm and is available from 1900-4500rpm. These performance figures give the 2-litre 718 Boxster a 0-62mph acceleration time of just 4.7 seconds when fitted with the optional PDK transmission and Sport Chrono Package, and a top speed of 170mph (275km/h). In the 2.5-litre Boxster S, this figure drops to 4.2 seconds with a top speed of 177mph (285km/h). With the 2-litre engine, a combined fuel consumption of 40.9mpg is possible, while the 2.5-litre engine can return up to 38.7mpg. As standard, both 718 models are fitted with a 6-speed manual gearbox, while the PDK transmission is available as an option.
Apart from the luggage compartment lids, the front windscreen and the power hood, the exterior design of the car has been completely revised. The front end is wider with larger cooling air intakes, and the 718 now features Bi-Xenon headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights. Lateral air intakes feature a pair of fins. New 19-inch alloy wheels are fitted as standard, with 20-inch wheels being available as an option.
The retuned chassis ensures greater cornering performance, and the car’s electro-mechanical power steering is now more direct. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with a 10mm lower ride height is available as an option, while a PASM Sport Chassis with a 20mm lowered ride height is available as an option on the Boxster S. The optional Sport Chrono Package now comprises the Individual programme in addition to the three settings Normal, Sport and Sport Plus. When the PDK transmission is fitted, this is combined with the Sport Response button, allowing the driver to get the maximum responsiveness of the car for a period of 20 seconds.
The latest generation Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with touch-screen and mobile preparation is included in the 718 Boxster as standard, while the navigation module is optional. With Porsche Vehicle Tracking System Plus (PVTS+) as standard, the 718 Boxster offers the highest class of vehicle security.
The 718 Boxster is priced at £41,739.00 RRP and the Boxster S at £50,695.00 RRP.
Edited by: Glen Smale
Images by: Porsche