It may not look all that different at a glance, but the new 718 Boxster brings with it some of the biggest changes in the Boxster’s 20-year history. The flat-six is out and a new range of turbocharged flat-four engines are in, leaving the 911 the only model in Porsche’s lineup with flat-six power. That, combined with a new name, helps to further define the Boxster’s position within the Porsche hierarchy.
Let’s take a closer look.
5. It’s not Porsche’s first 718.
The 718 name was first used in the 1950s for a somewhat-obscure, four-cylinder race car. Appropriately, the name is being resurrected for the new four-cylinder Boxster. Think of this way: “718” is the name of the model range while “Boxster” is the trim level, making it consistent with the 911’s naming convention (911 Carrera, 911 Turbo, 911 GT3, etc.). Look for a 718 Cayman, 718 GT4 and other variants further down the road.
4. The engine is smaller but also more powerful.
The new engines compensate for the loss of two cylinders with a turbocharger. The Boxster gets a 2.0-liter engine that produces 300 hp and the Boxster S gets a 2.5-liter with 350 hp — both 35 hp improvements. Torque gains are even more significant — 280 lb-ft (a 74 lb-ft improvement) and 309 lb-ft (a 43 lb-ft improvement) for the Boxster and Boxster S respectively.
3. It’s far quicker than the old six-cylinder Boxster.
Equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Pack and PDK dual-clutch transmission (a six-speed manual comes standard), the 718 Boxster S will do 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds, which is a whole 0.7 seconds quicker than the previous Boxster S. Top speed is 177 mph.
2. Handling should be even better.
Porsche hasn’t announced the 718 Boxster’s curb weight, but the smaller engine should contribute to a significantly lighter car. That combined with a revised suspension and a steering rack that Porsche claims is 10 percent more direct (not sure how they measured that) should make for one sweet handling sports car.
1. Almost every body panel is new.
The new mechanicals are complemented by a sharp new exterior. With the exception of the luggage compartment lids, windshield and convertible top, everything you see on the outside has been resculpted.