Twenty years after the Boxster made its debut, Porsche is redefining its midengine roadsters. The designation for the new generation of models is 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S. The two-seat convertibles are now more powerful yet more fuel efficient. With them, Porsche continues the tradition of the four-cylinder flat engines used in the Porsche 718 mid-engine sports cars that won numerous races back in the 1950s and 1960s, among them the legendary Targa Florio and Le Mans.
The centerpiece of the new model series is the newly developed four-cylinder flat engine with turbocharging. The 718 Boxster develops 220 kW (300 hp) of power from 2.0 litres engine displacement, while the 718 Boxster S produces 257 kW (350 hp) from 2.5 litres displacement.
In the S model, Porsche also uses a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry. In fact Porsche is now the only manufacturer to offer VTG technology in production cars with petrol-driven engines, both in the 911 Turbo and in the 718 Boxster S.
Impressive here is the considerable power gain of 25 kW (35 hp) compared to the previous Boxster models and the efficiency of the new turbo engines. The new 718 Boxster models have fuel economy improvements of up to 13 per cent.
The completely new chassis tuning and stronger brakes provide for passionate and sporty driving. The design of the new model line is also comprehensively advanced. The roadster is completely revised except for the luggage compartment lids, the windscreen and the convertible top. Inside, a newly designed dash panel frames the cockpit. In addition, the latest generation of Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with a state-of-the-art touchscreen and navigation is included as standard.
Efficient turbo power from four cylinders
The launch of the new 718 Boxster represents the first time since the late 1960s that Porsche is introducing sports cars with four-cylinder flat engines again. Turbocharging significantly boosts torque. The 2.0-litre engine of the 718 Boxster has maximum torque of 380 Nm (a gain of 100 Nm), which is available from 1,950 rpm to 4,500 rpm.
The 2.5-litre engine of the 718 Boxster S boast 420 Nm (an extra 60 Nm) over an engine speed range from 1,900 rpm to 4,500 rpm. And so the new 718 Boxster models sprint even faster. The 718 Boxster – with PDK and optional Sport Chrono Package – sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 4.7 secs (0.8 secs faster). The 718 Boxster S in the same configuration completes this discipline in 4.2 secs (0.6 secs faster). Top speed of the 718 Boxster is 275 km/h, and the 718 Boxster S 285 km/h.
The Porsche turbo concept boosts driving performance while improving fuel economy. In the 718 Boxster, the four-cylinder flat engine with PDK has a NEDC fuel consumption figure of 6.9 L/100 km (1.0 L/100 km less than previous). In the 718 Boxster S, the 2.5-litre turbo flat engine with PDK consumes just 7.3 L/100 km (0.9 L/100 km less).
The 718 models come with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. The Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK), which now features fuel-saving virtual gears, is available as an option.
New design emphasises sharpened profile
The 718 model line can be made out at first glance. The front end of the new roadster exhibits a much more sculptural form. The front has a wider and more masculine appearance. The much larger cooling air intakes at the front are a distinct exterior expression of the new turbo engine concept. The front end of the 718 Boxster is rounded out by the new design of the bi-xenon headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights featuring Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) which is standard on all New Zealand models. LED headlights with four-point daytime running lights are available as a new option.
From the side view, identifying features of the new model line include new, independently styled rear side panel and sill. Larger air inlet panels with two fins emphasise the car's dynamic look. The doors are now designed without door handle recess covers. New 19-inch wheels are standard on the 718 Boxster S while 20-inch diameter wheels are available as an option.
The redesigned rear body of the 718 Boxster has a much wider look – especially due to the accent strip with integrated Porsche badge between the tail lights. The entirely redeveloped tail lights are distinguished by their three-dimensional LED technology and four-point brake lights.
Sportier tuning of chassis for greater agility
In its driving dynamics, the new roadster follows in the tracks of the original 718. The car's completely retuned chassis enhances cornering performance. The electromechanical steering system is configured to be 10 per cent more direct. This makes the 718 Boxster even more agile and easier to steer, both on race tracks and in everyday traffic.
Minus ten and minus 20: Porsche Active Suspension Management
Available as an option for the roadsters is Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) with a 10 mm lower ride height. For the first time, the PASM sport chassis with a 20 mm lower ride height is available as an option for the 718 Boxster S. The active chassis, which has also been retuned, offers an even broader spread between long-distance touring comfort and dynamic sporty stiffness.
Extensive Sport Chrono Package for dynamic driving experience
As in the 911, the optional Sport Chrono Package now comprises the Individual programme in addition to the three settings Normal, Sport and Sport Plus. In sports cars with PDK, the Sport Response Button has been added, which is located at the middle of the driving programme switch. Inspired by car racing, it enables the driver to configure the responsiveness of the engine and the PDK to be very direct.
Interior has new Porsche Communication Management as standard
Awaiting the driver in the cockpit of the 718 Boxster is the familiar Porsche interior environment, now upgraded with new elements included in the instrument panel. Another interior change is the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) unit which for New Zealand includes mobile phone preparation, audio interfaces, navigation and voice control as standard together with Sound Package Plus with 110 watts of audio power.
The PCM can be extended with optional modules to thoroughly adapt it to personal requirements. For instance, the Connect Plus module is available as an extension of the navigation module and allows various iPhone functions and apps to be used in the PCM via the Apple Car Play. Auto dimming mirrors and digital radio are also standard on New Zealand models.
On sale in New Zealand
The new 718 Boxster and Boxster S will be launched in New Zealand mid-2016, with local pricing and specification to be confirmed nearer to the launch date.