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C&D 2018 10 Best

2249 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  duegatti
Porsche 718 Boxster / Cayman
Look who's back for the 19th time.



"Porsche’s 718 Boxster convertible and 718 Cayman hatchback sports-car siblings have become regulars on our 10Best Cars list, and with the dynamic duo little changed for 2018, it wasn’t hard to welcome them back for another year. The situation was a little dicier last year, when the pair saw their sonorous, high-revving flat-six engines replaced by turbocharged flat-fours. But while we missed the intoxicating sound the sixes made when the needle went zinging across the tachometer, the turbo fours proved to have compensatory qualities, chief among them more power and torque. The standard versions get 300 horsepower and 280 lb-ft from 2.0 liters, while the 2.5-liter engine in the S delivers another 50 horsepower and 29 lb-ft. Having now tested just about every Boxster and Cayman variant (a tough job, we know, but we do it in service to you), we can report that the slowest of the bunch—the non-S Boxster with the six-speed manual—now scoots to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, while the quickest ones we’ve tested—the dual-clutch-automatic-equipped Boxster S and Cayman S—take just 3.6.
What remains a constant is the Boxster/Cayman’s unerring chassis balance, born of its mid-engine layout. The natural rightness of this configuration, along with the car’s compact size and light weight, means that it’s not relying on a phalanx of computerized helpers to get around corners. Of course, it has those features, but they remain in the background, and there’s never the sense that they’re trying to rewrite the laws of physics.

This car lives for curves, particularly when they’re stacked one after the other; it’s so easy to get into a rhythm behind the wheel. On any road, however, the mechanical precision with which these Porsches operate—and so few other cars do—is a joy. The exacting calibration of the throttle and the steering, wherein each minute movement results in a perfectly measured response, is rewarding any time. So, too, is the superb action of the clutch and shifter—a point in favor of the manual transmission despite the quicker acceleration afforded by the dual-clutch PDK.
The driver’s seat, supportive but not confining, places one in an ideal relationship to the surroundings. And neither the coupe nor the convertible’s shapely bodywork—which to our eyes only improved with the latest redesign—unduly hinders the view out. The ramplike center console, however, affords virtually no interior stowage, one of the few criticisms we can reasonably level at this car. The front and rear trunks are great for carrying a weekend’s worth of luggage, but that’s not where you want to stash your sunglasses.

For now, at least, both the standard and the S versions of the Cayman and Boxster skate in under our $80,000 price cap, so all four main variants of Porsche’s mid-engine masterpiece are honored here. The only outliers are the new-for-2018 GTS models, which start at $80,850—we doubt most buyers will miss their additional 15 horsepower. No matter how they’re spec’d, the 718 Boxster and Cayman are exemplary sports cars."
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I agree with the review--but does anyone else find it a bit presumptuous having the best of 2018 out even before the year starts?
Maybe not - when the Corvette that you would order now is a 2019.
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