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With the 718 Boxster, Porsche is now on its fourth generation of the mid-engined convertible it first launched back in 1996. Each successive generation has improved upon the Boxster formula of brilliant dynamics and exhilarating open-top performance. But the 718 is the most significant yet, as it sees the Boxster switch from six cylinders to four. A tough sell for the purists? Only until they get behind the wheel. The new engine is both more powerful and more efficient, as well as lighter. In the more powerful S guise the 718 Boxster approaches Porsche 911 performance…
The Boxster S is equipped withfull-size driver and passenger airbags as standard. These are inflated in two stages depending on the severity and type of accident. The Porsche Side Impact Protection System (POSIP comprises side impact protection elements in the doors and two airbags on each side. There’s an integral thorax airbag in each seat side bolster, while the door panels each contain an upwards-inflating head airbag. In the unlikely event of a roll-over accident, the dual roll-over protection of windscreen and individual seat roll-over bars creates survival space within the cockpit.
The 718 Boxster S is low, wide and sleek with a
ground-hugging stance that’s emphasised by the horizontal strakes in the lower
air intakes. Typical Porsche design cues include front wings that stand proud
of the bonnet line and faired-in Bi-Xenon headlamps with four LED running
lights each side. At the side, there’s a large air intake just behind the
trailing edge of the door to feed the mid-engined turbo four, and the rear
treatment includes an accent trim to reinforce the impression of width. Central
twin exhausts complete the look. It’s a powerful, lean and beautifully-balanced
design that looks great from every angle and whether the hood is up or down (a
process that takes just 9 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph).
More power for less fuel is the mantra for the 718 Boxster. If you’re wondering where the 718 name comes from it’s named after a legendary four-cylinder Porsche racer of the 1960s that chalked up thousands of class and race victories. In the 718 Boxster S, the 2.5-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine produces 350bhp at 6,500 rpm, while the variable geometry turbocharger is responsible for the huge 420NM of torque all the way from 1,950 to 4,500 rpm. 0-62mph takes as little as 4.2 seconds with the PDK transmission and optional Launch Control, and top speed is 177mph.
All 718 models are equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission optimally matched to their respective engine maps while the racier 7-speed PDK, featuring both a manual and an automatic mode, is available as an option.
The Boxster S is equipped with an enhanced Porsche Stability Management (PSM), an automatic control system for maintaining stability at the limits of dynamic driving performance. Options include Porsche Torque Vectoring, which works by varying the amount of torque transmitted to the rear wheels and makes the leech-like grip of the mid-engined Boxster S even more impressive in hard cornering.
In-car Infotainment includes a Connect Plus module with smartphone compartment, Porsche Car Connect and Apple® CarPlay, LTE telephone module with SIM card reader, wireless internet access, online navigation and comprehensive Porsche Connect services. A digital radio comes as standard, with Bose® Surround Sound or Burmeister® High-End Surround Sound as cost options.
Some convertibles are designed for cruising rather than high performance, but that’s not the Porsche way. The Boxster S offers the kind of mid-engined handling and acceleration that used to be the province of a temperamental exotic supercars just a few short years back. Yet it’s immensely practical as a daily driver and looks great too. If you’re after a thoroughbred convertible from a marque with real motorsport heritage, the Boxster S has few rivals.
|Vehicle Length||4,379 mm/172.4in|
|Vehicle Width||1,801 mm/70.9in|
|Vehicle Height||1,280 mm/50.4in|
|Unladen Weight (DIN)||1,355kg|
|Engine / Cylinders||2.5 litre / flat-4|
|Max Torque||420Nm @ 1900-4500rpm|
|Max Power||350hp @ 6500 rpm|
|Top Speed||177 mph|
|Acceleration 0-62 mph||4.2 seconds (with launch control)|
|Combined Cycle||38.7 mpg|
|Urban Cycle||29.7 mpg|