Put the two on a race track and no matter how much you hate turbos, the advantages quickly become apparent.
As much as the enthusiast community likes to loath smaller turbocharged engines, there’s no denying that modern sports cars derive great benefits from them. The Porsche 718 Boxster S is one such car, and even though it’s been criticized for sounding too hushed compared to its five-cylinder Audi cousin, its turbocharged four-banger has more than enough power to make it quite a bit faster than its flat-six predecessor. Part of what makes it so much better? Low-end torque.
Unlike many naturally aspirated motors that must reach high into the rev range for that sweet inertia-bending thrust, turbocharged engines are known for low-end grunt that at least partially makes up for the lag. That’s the first note that Carlos Lagos makes about the 718 Boxster S, which makes 350 horsepower at the rear wheels and mincemeat out of its predecessor.
A simple comparison between the 2017 Boxster S and a 2016 Cayman GT4 (a manual) yields a nearly identical lap time, coming in only two tenths of a second slower than its more powerful hardtop sibling that’s lighter, more rigid, and equipped with better tires. If that doesn't sell you, you must lie firmly in the purist camp. Even with such an enticing package, Porsche knew it had a mountain to climb to lull the purists in even though plenty of the German cars, including the top trims, already come saddled with exhaust-driven air compressors. Listen to Lagos because we think he makes a fair case for the 718's turbochargers.