Porsche 718 Boxster has lost cylinders but gained horses
It's unwise to get attached to anything you love about Porsches.
Love air cooling, it's gone forever.
Fan of hydraulic steering, it's no more.
Naturally aspirated engines your thing well they're on their way out.
And now with this the new Boxster it looks like Porsche is giving up on another thing we all cherish.
The Boxer's six-cylinder engine because this has a flat four.
It's a case of give and take with the new Boxer.
Porsche have given it a turbo charger but taken away two cylinders.
We've lost almost a liter of displacement, but gained thirty four horses and fifty five torques, and we've lost that great sounding flat six engine, but we've gained fuel economy.
There's something else to put in that gained column.
A new name, because this is the Porsche seven eighteen.
That new number hasn't just been stuck on for the sake of it.
It harks back to a really, really important car.
The original Porsche 719.
That was a racecar that in the 50s and 60s won drivers like Stirling Moss and Graham Hill podiums in Formula One, Le Mans, the Targa Florio, and the Sebring.
It was an incredible car, open-topped, mid engine affair with, crucially, a flat four.
This is a bold statement from Porsche.
It's preempting all the haters who are going to have problems with the fact that this doesn't have a flat six anymore by stating, yes, we know how to To make a [UNKNOWN] engine that's dynamic, exciting and fun to drive.
On the looks front there are a few touches that distinguish the 718 from its predecessor.
Slightly larger air intakes, new lights front and back, but it's at the rear where we see the most changes The single design accent that used to split the rear from tail light to tail light has unfortunately gone but in it's place we have a new accent strip that makes it easier for people you overtake to know you drive a Porsche.
On the whole it looks much the same.
Which considering how much of a leap forward the previous Boxster was.
Isn't such a bad thing.
So new name, slightly new looks, different engine.
The important thing is, what is it like to drive?
Now I was looking forward to taking the 718 Boxster out for a spin in sunny Portugal.
Portugal, on the other hand had other ideas.
Apart from a few brief moments with the top down, it was a case of either keeping it up or drowning.
We're professionals through, so we pushed on.
We end up with a total of 345 brake horsepower, and 310 foot pounds of torque.
0 to 62 is in 4.6 seconds with the manual transmission, and 4.4 in the PDK, which this is.
And top speed is 100 77 mph, which is getting dangerously close to the stats of the 911.
So how about the sound?
Can a turbo charged flat 4 do it for you in the same way a naturally aspirators flat 6 could?
Well you tell me.
It's not quite the same but you can't, by any stretch of the imagination, say it sounds bad.
That's of all of the cars in Porsche's sports car range.
The Boxer does feel more of a lifestyle car.
The kind that's picked up by people who don't necessarily want a 911, don't feel any affinity to it's character.
They just want the badge on a car that's going to excite them.
And for that, this car can be a different kind of beast.
But still, on a winding mountain road like this, you want it to sing.
You want all of those things to come together and take.
The steering needs to be sharp.
The engine noise needs to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
The brakes need to work, and the accelerator needs to make you tingle where you like to tingle.
[SOUND] And this car delivers that.
It still does.
There's a lot that people can poke holes in, it's by no means perfect, but it still very much fits the purpose.
This is a car to go out and have fun in.
Dynamically, Porsche says the steering is 10% more direct.
I have no idea how you measure that but, fair enough.
And its upgrade to the chassis.
If you spec Porsche active suspension management, the car's dropped by 10 millimeter and you get an extra 10 if you spec the sport chassis.
If you go for Sport Chrono, and there's no reason why you shouldn't.
You'll get the usual raft of driving modes and even a sport response button on the PDK for some extra go when you really need it.
For everything that we've gained in performance, has lost a little bit of soul.
And that's been lamented about Porsches for the last 20 years, this slowly chipping away at the original concept of what Porsches were all about, in order to give us More fuel efficiency, better safety, more reliability.
And as much as that's a shame, what we are left with are faster, safer, more fuel efficient cars.
It's not the kind of thing that gets you excited, but it's the kind of thing that makes these cars possible for the next 20 years.
The Boxster is the car that saves Porsche When it first came out, and although Porsche is in no need of saving, this car could do it all over again.
The headlines of the 718 box are painted target on its back for purists.
When you tally up the changes to what was already a winning model, it seems impossible for this to be seen as an improvement.
But actually take this thing out for a drive And the improved steering suspension chassis, not to mention overall improved performance make it an undeniably awesome package.
It's a full three steps forward for only one step back.