The ‘S’ Derivative
It’s almost a no brainer with this one, if you want the sort of extra most Porsche owners are looking for, ‘S’ is the way to go and with the new 718 Boxster it’s no different. The big take away is power, 50 horsepower more to be exact, an increase in power you should be able to feel on the street:
Source: AutoCarBefore we assess that, a quick look at the essential differences between the new 718 Boxster and its ‘S’ derivative. The S has 50 additional horsepower thanks not only to that larger engine, but a variable geometry turbine, though you won’t need to be a maths professor to work out that it is actually the standard car that enjoys the higher specific output.
The S also comes with the same diameter brakes, but slightly thicker front discs, but as the Boxster already has the same braking system as the old Boxster S, it is unlikely to prove deficient in this regard. Boxster Ss come with 19in rims which are optional on the Boxster and have two rear exhaust pipes instead of one, unless you opt for sports exhausts on your Boxster. And that’s about it apart, of course, from the £8950 you’ll save if you are able to resist ticking the ‘S’ box on the configurator.
Quicker Than The Old 3.4-Liter
If concerned and even disappointed about the smaller displacement enginse we get this time around, one thing you can be happy about is the improved performance. Right off the line the 2.0 makes power at a lower RPM than the old 3.4, at around 1950rpm 280lb ft of torque comes on. Just wait till you see numbers the 2.5 puts out:
Source: AutoCarAnd so it is again. Any slightly patronising thoughts you may harbour about the diminutive nature of this engine explode at the first prod of the pedal. Small the engine might be, but turbocharged it is too, to provide not only 296bhp but a fat 280lb ft wad of torque at less than 1950rpm: more torque at fewer than half the revs not of the old Boxster, but the old Boxster S. So despite having gained a few kilos, this new base Boxster accelerates just as fast on two litres and four cylinders as did the previous Boxster S on 3.4-litres and six cylinders. Add a PDK double clutch transmission and it’s actually quicker.
Source: AutomobileMagWhich brings us back to the parental-style nervousness in Portugal. Porsche’s various models might feed off one another, but the 718s nourish on direct-injection four-cylinder engines and forced induction from their single, intercooled turbocharger. Both the 2.0-liter in the Boxster and the 2.5 in the S share parts and engineering/technology with the new turbo flat-six engines found in the 911 range, with the S employing 911 Turbo-derived variable turbine geometry for better throttle response at low and high revs.
The 2.0 makes 300 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 280 lb-ft of torque from 1,950 to 4,500 rpm, with the 2.5 managing 350 hp at 6,500 rpm and 309 lb-ft between 1,900 and 4,500 rpm. That’s a horsepower increase of 35 over the old naturally aspirated 2.7- and 3.4-liter flat-sixes, with the Boxster making an additional 74 lb-ft and the S 43 lb-ft compared to the outgoing engines. Porsche says the base car will run from 0-60 mph in 4.9 or 4.7 seconds (six-speed manual vs. twin-clutch gearbox), and the S will do so in 4.4/4.2. Add the optional Sport Chrono package’s Sport+ mode with the paddle-shift transmission and those numbers allegedly drop to 4.5 for Boxster, 4.0 for S. These times are 0.7 and 0.5 second, respectively, quicker than what Porsche cited for the previous Boxsters, a significant improvement. Top speeds increase to 170 and 177 mph, gains of 8 and 5 mph.
It Doesn’t Sound Like a Subaru STi
One big and most talked about point was how much the 718’s Turbocharged 2.0 sounds like a Subaru STi. At first this might seem to be the case but the video posted below is a great example of how much like a Porsche this 4 banger sounds like. Hearing it all throughout the RPM range should prove this to be even more true. Overall it’s a much more refined sound than the Subaru:
Source: AutomobileMagThus these are the quickest and outright fastest Boxsters yet, but what about that character? Certainly it takes some adjusting to, predictably and notably the sound coming from the short-stroke engine behind you. Almost to a person and without prompting, the comparison we heard during our drive time was unanimous: Subaru STi. Porsche’s engine feels and sounds more refined than Subaru’s, but despite the development team working hard to create an appropriate sound — and we’re not saying it is inappropriate for such a car — there is no overcoming the deep, bassy nature of turbocharged flat-fours, either at idle or on partial or full power.
Listen close and you still detect the mechanical whine and clatter familiar to Porsche sports car drivers, but it is nowhere as obvious as before. The noise you do hear is amplified by a resonator and electric actuator and pumped into the cabin, an effect some purists detest but one that is more natural than, say, pumping fake engine sounds through the audio system’s speakers. We spent our time in both the manual- and PDK-transmission-equipped Boxster S with optional sport exhaust, and were surprised by how loud the experience is, with drone creeping in no matter what drive mode we selected. We grew used to the new soundtrack within an hour or two, and if you never experienced the boxer-six-powered cars, you probably would not take much notice, if any. But there is an obvious difference, and Porschephiles tend to dislike change, especially to something so intrinsic to the experience. On the absolute plus side, push the button to activate Sport mode, and you get an abundance of exhaust popping and cracking on the overrun, and it sounds lovely. Our only ask is to hear a bit more of it from inside the cockpit; we noticed it more from other cars passing us or driving ahead of us than we at times did from our own test cars. And note that Sport+ eliminates the overrun effect in the name of better throttle response.
A lot of owners that put their Porsche’s through its paces will tell you how much they appreciate the traction typically had and the 718 Boxster meets those expectations, thank the 45/55 weight distribution for that. Stickier tires might be worth looking into depending on who you are, have any suggestions? Post them in the comments section below:
A limited-slip differential, sticky Pirelli tires, and the chassis’ 45/55 front/rear weight distribution delivers excellent traction, but the additional torque kicks the fun meter to another level; it’s available early in the powerband, making it easier than ever to induce yaw via the throttle, breaking the rear tires loose if you desire. If high-speed runs are your forte, the car delivers on that front as well.
Great Handling & Steering
By now you can already guess that the 718 Boxster is a well rounded vehicle, Porsche yet again delivers what most of us expect and really want in a Porsche. Closing this out, it’s handling and steering related parts and components were improved to act in harmony with the extra power and torque mentioned earlier. This is one area we’re looking forward to hear more about with the Chris Harriss’ of the automotive world:
Source: AutomobileMagBoxsters have never been about raw speed, however, and the 718s get some handling upgrades as well. The steering rack lifted from the 911 Turbo is approximately 10 percent quicker than before, and it makes it as easy as ever to place the car precisely where you want to go. No, Porsche has not tuned the electromechanical setup to feel like the hydraulic system found in earlier Boxsters, so you won’t be able to tell as easily when you run over a bubble gum wrapper — another trait some hardcore loyalists value to an almost deal-breaking degree. To cope with the extra torque, the rear subframe is stronger. The rear wheels are half an inch wider, though tire width remains the same. Porsche says this slight change in how the tire sits on the rim works in harmony with the quicker steering that came from a car that also features rear-steer. Since Boxsters don’t offer rear-steer, the wider wheels help promote stability and allow the quicker steering to work with this chassis.