When Porsche first released the Boxster back in 1996 it was seen as a poor man’s Porsche as it lacked performance compared to other Porsche models, but it soon became a firm favorite and a top seller for the automaker until the Cayenne launched. It’s had changes along the way of course, but the best version just happened along with a name change to Porsche 718 Boxster. Everything is better, including a turbocharged powerplant and performance that makes the car a competent competitor. Best of all the price tag means Porsche performance can be reached by many more buyers.
A Porsche interior will never be sub-par, and even in a model “lower” on the model rung. We find a new design for the dashboard that’s modern, elegant and also sporty while being streamlined. Adaptive 18-way power adjustable sport seats are available and can be tailored in a variety of colors. Trims can be had in aluminum, wood, Alcantara and carbon fiber making for numerous interior style packages.
The gauge cluster features a prominent tachometer in typical Porsche style, just ahead of that is the three-spoke sports steering wheel, stylish as ever. The centre console is raised high with the result being a short shift lever that falls to the hand perfectly. Just above that you’ll find the screen for the Porsche Communication Management system and things are much the same there as with previous models. There are definitely worse roadster interiors out there.
With a Porsche badge, you can expect the ride to be superior, and is it just that. The new turbocharged engine provides a lot more go. The flat four-cylinder almost gives off that signature Porsche engine note but is closer to a Subaru, but no matter the sound it provides a strong, linear power delivery.
The car weighs just over 3,000 pounds and that makes it great in the power-to-weight stakes and it feels light and nimble with brilliant feedback fro the steering. The manual shifts with purpose but the PDK transmission is the one to have much to the dismay of purists. The chassis is tight and as a result the handling is very good, the car can be thrown around with confidence. Porsche has managed to create quick, well-mannered roadster.
For the first time the Porsche Boxster now features boost by way of a turbocharger and the car is clearly all the more better for it. The engine is still in the boxer configuration and measures in with a capacity of 2.0-liters and it produces 300 hp and 280 lb-ft. Figures equate to a 0-60 mph dash of 4.9-seconds in the manual version and a quicker 4.5-seconds in the automatic PDK version with the Sport Chrono package – both have a top end speed of 170 mph. The 6-speed manual features a short-throw shifter and the gears fall in to place with purpose, but the PDK version is what you want when you’re trying to beat the clock, the short ratio 7-speed is lightning fast.
The Porsche 718 Boxster is available with a host of tech and safety features, you can option things like adaptive cruise control with Porsche active safety, lane change assist, dual zone climate control and a host of customizing packages. You can option a navigation module for the Porsche communication management, either a Bose ($990) or a Burmeister high-end surround sound system ($4,690), Porsche Connect with an associated app to control functions. You can also option an official Porsche battery and trickle charger with increased charging power for when you need to leave the car parked for extended periods of time.
The now turbocharged Porsche Boxster with the 718 designation taken from the Porsches of old from 1957 to 1962, is a great drop-top roadster that features performance worth taking notice of. It’s the first Porsche to use a 4-cylinder for many years and it looks to be more successful, and of course, efficient. Every facet of the car has been improved in some way, from the handling to the styling options and the handling too. It’s aggressive-looking, more powerful and much quicker. It’s a performance bargain at the base price, but some options will make it easier to live with.