by Jared Rosenholtz
Porsche shocked the world when it announced that the Boxster and Cayman were being discontinued. That is until we all found out that they were just being renamed. The new Boxster and Cayman now include "718" in the name. Aside from the simple naming change, the familiar flat-six engines were dropped for flat-four turbocharged engines. This change helps keep the small sports cars in line with the rest of the lineup, which is moving towards turbocharging. Even the 911 is now turbocharged despite cries from enthusiast who never like change.
After a bit of thought, it seems that Porsche made the right decision. The new engines will be more powerful than the outgoing six-cylinder engines. The base 718 will have 300 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque from a 2.0-liter engine. This will propel the Boxster to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and a 168 mph top speed. The 718 S will feature a 2.5-liter engine with 340 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. This model will get from 0-60 in just 4.9 seconds and onto a top speed of 174 mph. This is a large increase from the old 2.7-liter and 3.4-liter six-cylinder engines which made 261 and 311 horsepower respectively. The torque is the bigger story as the numbers are up by as much as 74 lb-ft model for model. This should provide enough grunt to match the handling.
One of the disadvantages to turbocharged is that you loose a bit of sound. Some manufacturers have managed to engineer some amazing noise from turbocharged engines. After hearing the 718 Boxster and Boxster S, we think that Porsche has done a good job, especially with the optional sports exhaust.
Critically, the new 718 Boxster does everything that made the original such a hit. It is faster, more fuel efficient, handles better and looks almost identical to its predecessor. If you can't get over having a four-cylinder sports car, then don't fret. Porsche has hinted at a six-cylinder GTS model with at least 365 horsepower. There is still room in the engine bay of the 718 and we can't wait to see what this new model has in store for the future.