The downsizing and implementation of turbochargers in sports cars is a compromise that is inevitable for the industry. Porsche doesn’t necessarily see it as a compromise, but instead as a new direction for progress.
The 991.2 line is now fully-turbocharged across its several current variants, and as expected, the Boxster has followed suit. Now dubbed the “718 Boxster” in reference to the history of the four-cylinder, mid-mounted engine for Porsche, the new Boxster will see power improvements but also better efficiency. There doesn’t appear to be any trade-off there.
Performance-wise, the Boxster range ups the ante with formidable gains in power. The entry-level choice now sits at 300 horsepower on the nose and boasts a sub-5 second 0-60 time, challenging the outgoing Boxster S model in both respects. The updated Boxster S pushes the output up to 350 horsepower and reaching 60 miles per hour in just 4 seconds when equipped with the Sport Chrono package and the PDK transmission, numbers that can put even some supercars on alert.
The Boxster comes in a fresh new package with revisions being minor but noticeable. The front and rear fascias see updates with the most distinguishable changes appearing in the lighting systems. The four-point LEDs seen across the Porsche range find their way into the Boxster, with matching LED features in the rear lights as well, split by a new black stripe across the rear with the Porsche logotype. Four new Porsche colors await the configurator to complement the six new interior color options.
More changes make their way into the interior, instantly recognizable by taking hold of the steering wheel. The new wheel follows Porsche’s design from the 918 Spyder, reserving a small clickwheel on the right side for selectable driving modes. The re-implementation of familiar controls extends further into the cabin as the center console sees extensive revision, with the infotainment cluster being revamped to a functional touchscreen unit, accessing navigation, radio controls and other settings.
Even with all the new gadgets and technology making waves, the Boxster still hasn’t lost what made it driving nirvana. A 6-speed manual transmission remains standard, and the feel through corners promises to be more direct through a reconfigured electromechanical steering system. The Porsche Active Suspension Management option situates the roadster 10mm closer to the ground, and the sport chassis lowers it another 10 for the Boxster S.
The 718 Boxster will officially debut at the Geneva Motor Show in early March.