Porsche's 718 Boxster: Doing more with four

Do you hear that? It's the cry of Porsche purists falling over at the thought of a modern P-car powered by a four-cylinder engine. Well, guess what? It's here, and it's taking the form of the all-new Porsche 718 Boxster.

The 718 moniker is a throwback to Porsche's flat-four-engined racecars from the late 1950s, even if the connection is tenuous at best. Either way, the 718 Boxster (and the hopped-up Boxster S) come equipped with two fewer cylinders than before.

The Boxster's flat-four is a 2.0-liter turbocharged unit, putting out 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Upgrading to the Boxster S increases displacement to 2.5 liters, output rises to 350 hp and 309 lb-ft and the standard turbocharger is replaced with a variable unit. With the optional PDK dual-clutch transmission (a six-speed manual is standard), the Boxster will hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and the S will do it in 4 flat.

Looks-wise, there are a few differences. The air intakes are larger to support the turbocharger, the front fascia appears a bit slimmer and a Porsche badge is now affixed to the decklid spoiler. Buyers can also opt for full-LED headlights and taillights, which sport Porsche's signature four-point DRL design. Inside tweaks are a bit more apparent, including revised HVAC vents and a new steering wheel.

Most tech-related updates come by way of the chassis. The suspension is purportedly completely revised, with Porsche's adjustable sport unit available as an option for the first time. The electronic power steering is 10 percent "more direct," as well. Whatever that means. It's likely been made more sensitive.

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster

The biggest consumer-tech upgrade is the addition of Porsche's PCM touchscreen infotainment system as standard equipment. Navigation is optional, as is the Connect Plus package, which adds online services -- and Apple CarPlay, if it's like the updated 911.

Porsche's 718 Boxster is technically on sale now, but it won't be hitting US dealerships until late June. The Boxster retails for $56,000, and the Boxster S starts at $68,400.

Discuss: 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Roadster

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