The Boxster is Porsche's "entry-level" sports car, built on a mid-engine chassis with seating for two. For 2016, it's offered in four levels: Base, S, GTS and Spyder.
The Base-level Boxster is powered by a 2.7L flat-6-cylinder engine that makes 265 horsepower. The S gets a 3.4L version of the flat-six, tuned to make 315 horsepower. The GTS is also powered by a 3.4L, though thanks partially to a standard sport exhaust, the GTS makes 330 horsepower. The top of the line Boxster Spyder is powered by a 375 horsepower 3.8L flat-six, borrowed from the 911. Two transmissions are available: a 6-speed manual is standard and PDK 7-speed dual clutch transmission is optional on all four models.
Mileage is pretty good for a sports car, thanks primarily to the Boxster's low weight. Fuel economy for the base model is rated at 20 mpg city/30 mpg highway. The S does only marginally less well at 28 mpg highway.
Safety features include standard anti-lock brakes, traction control, Porsche Stability Management and a host of side, thorax and head airbags for both driver and passenger. LED indicator lights and tail lights help improve visibility in all conditions.
The base Boxster is very well equipped, coming with electric-assist steering, 18-inch wheels, a power-folding convertible top with rear heated glass. The rear air dam extends and retracts automatically at speed. The wipers are rain-sensing. Inside, the Boxster comes with leather seat trim, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and keyless entry are included.
The S upgrades the powertrain but it also upgrades the wheels to 19-inch. The headlights are HID and the sound system gets upgraded to a 7-inch touchscreen model.
The Boxster Spyder is new for 2016, and occupies the top rung on the Boxster performance ladder. With its 375 horsepower, it's the most powerful Boxster ever sold. It's more than just a powerful engine however, unique styling gives it a speedster look while a manually operated (but electronically latching) soft top saves weight.
Porsche is notorious for offering a very extensive list of customization options. The Boxster offers 4 additional wheel options, 2 types of power-adjustable seats that are available in a dizzying array of leather trim. A Premium package adds dual-zone climate control, HID headlamps and power-adjustable seats. Ceramic composite high-performance brakes are available, as is a sport exhaust system. In-dash navigation and Bose audio are available, so are color-keyed seatbelts, ventilated seats, several wood-trimmed heated steering wheels-- the list is very extensive.
Ah, summertime. With warmer temperatures and sunny skies, it's the perfect time of year for a new convertible like the 2020 Porsche 718 Spyder. Unless, of course, you're in Scotland, where rain and chilly temperatures constitute a typical summer. And as luck would have it, this gray, wet climate is exactly where I'll be testing Porsche's latest droptop.
Good thing it's a thrill even when the top is up.
With the hourly forecast calling for constant rain throughout the day, there will be no lowering of the Spyder's manual soft top. At least the 718 Spyder looks slick with the roof in place. But it's only when you go topless that you see the rear deck's dual, tapering humps, visually connecting it to the original Porsche 550 Spyder, as well as the two Boxster Spyders that came before it.
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