PORSCHE has returned to building sports cars with flat four-cylinder ‘boxer’ engines with the arrival of the new Boxster model.
Twenty years on from its original launch, the new generation Boxster also now has a new name – 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S.
These new two-seaters continue the tradition of the Porsche 718 mid-engined sports cars that won numerous races in the 1950s and 60s, also powered by four-cylinder engines
More powerful yet more fuel efficient, the centrepiece of the new series is the 718 Boxster which develops a hefty 300bhp from its turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, while the S version comes with a 350bhp 2.5-litre powerplant.
It means the 718 Boxster – with optional PDK double-clutch automatic transmission and Sport Chrono Package – can sprint from 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds, some 0.8 seconds quicker than its predecessor, with a top speed of 170mph.
And the equivalent 718 Boxster S has a time of 4.2 seconds – some 0.6 seconds faster – with 177mph maximum speed.
Despite the power gains, fuel economy is improved by up to 13 per cent, the 718 Boxster with PDK returning a potential 40.9mpg (Combined) and the 718 S slightly less at 38.7mpg.
Each 718 model is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, though the PDK, which now features fuel-saving ‘virtual gears’ previously introduced on the 911 model series, is up for grabs as an option.
Visually, the Boxster has been completely revised – bar the luggage compartment lids, windscreen and convertible roof – with a wider stance and larger air intakes.
Inside, there’s a fresh dash panel framing the cockpit, with touchscreen and mobile phone preparation included as standard.
As for driving dynamics the new roadster follows in the tracks of the original 718, its re-tuned chassis enhancing cornering and the power steering configured to be ten per cent more direct.
Prices are from £41,739 for the 718 Boxster and £50,695 for the 718 Boxster S. First deliveries are expected during the spring.