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New 718 Boxster line down two cylinders, up on power [w/video]

Thursday, January 28, 2016

It’s hard to believe the Boxster has now been around for 20 years and soon will zoom past sounding a little more WRX and a little less 911. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because the 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S, as they’re officially called, will make do with more power and much more torque with their new turbocharged flat-four engines.

The new mill is a huge departure for Porsche’s mid-engined entry model and the first time the company has used a flat-four in a road car since the 1976 914 and 912E. In most other ways the 718 is an evolution of the 981-gen Boxster, with a more sculpted body that may leave some scratching their heads as to what’s actually been updated. Let’s focus on the biggest change first, then.

The base Boxster has a 2.0-liter flat-four twisting out an even 300 hp, while the larger 2.5 in the Boxster S makes 350 hp, in part due to the addition of a variable geometry turbocharger, technology introduced to Porsche road cars on the 2007 911 Turbo. The 718S is squarely in 991-1 Carrera territory with that much power, and it has more torque. Both 718s churn out 35 hp more than their previous six-cylinder counterparts, yet it’s the torque that’s really impressive. They produce 100% of it from as low as 1,900 rpm — 1,950 rpm in the S model — and hold it steady until 4,500 rpm. The base model leaps ahead of the previous Boxster with 280 lb-ft, a 73 lb-ft gain, while the 718S with 309 lb-ft beats its predecessor by 43 lb-ft.

Of course, these big power gains affect acceleration. Equipped with the seven-speed PDK automatic and Sport Chrono Package, the 718 Boxster does 0-60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds, according to Porsche, 0.7 seconds quicker than before. The 718 Boxster S does the same sprint in 4.0 seconds, half a second quicker than before. The automaker is known to publish conservative test data, so we won’t be surprised if independent acceleration tests drop the S into the high-three-second range. Top speed is 170 mph in the base car, while the S can get to 177. To haul things down, Porsche says “uprated brakes” are up to the task, though the four-piston calipers paired with 330mm and 299mm rotors front and rear seem unchanged on paper. And for those who care, Porsche says all this performance is paired with up to 14% better fuel efficiency, which is the main reason this new four even exists. EPA figures are not available at this time.

So what else has been updated? The sharper, wider look is thanks to new body panels — only the two luggage compartment lids, the windshield, and the convertible top are carried over from the old car. While it might take somebody familiar with Porsches to notice specific styling updates, the effect is a car that appears to have a harder, more aggressive edge than the previous Boxster.

And that’s probably the opposite of how it handles, as Boxsters are known to have forgiving, predictable handling. Porsche says it retuned the suspension to enhance cornering stability and the electric steering is “10% more direct.” Opt for Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and the 718 will be lowered 10 millimeters and gain a handful of suspension damping settings based on driving style. PASM also has been retuned to give drivers a wider spread between Comfort and Sport settings. Sport PASM lowers the 718 by 20mm.

Sport Chrono package adds a 918-style steering wheel with the rotary dial for three preset driving modes and one Individual mode, which is customizable. Those who choose the PDK double-clutch automatic transmission and Sport Chrono also get a Sport Response button to sharpen throttle response even more.

Inside, Porsche Communication Management (PCM) is standard and has received a brand-new touchscreen and connectivity features in hopes to bring it up to par with other infotainment systems.

The 718 goes on sale now and will reach a Porsche dealer near you in June. The 718 Boxster MSRP is $56,000 and the 718 Boxster S starts at $68,400, both excluding the $1,050 destination fee.

Porsche has also released a couple videos of the 718, which you can watch below and, crucially, listen for the sound of the flat four. Not too bad!

Source Porsche


Offical Porsche Press Release

Powerful purity: The new Porsche 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S
35 more horsepower and up to 36 percent more torque

ATLANTA, Jan. 26, 2016 — Twenty years after the first Boxster made its debut, Porsche is introducing the latest generation of its mid-engine roadsters featuring more power, greater fuel efficiency, and further improved handling. The new models are named 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S, paying homage to the flat-four cylinder engines that were used in the mid-engine Porsche 718 sports car which won numerous races back in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

The centerpiece of the latest model range is the newly developed, turbocharged flat four-cylinder engine. The 718 Boxster generates 300 horsepower from two liters of displacement, while the 718 Boxster S uses a 2.5 liter engine developing 350 horsepower. The S-model also employs a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry. The new engines develop 35 more horsepower compared to those of the previous Boxster and are also up to 14 percent more efficient than their predecessors according to the New European Driving Cycle. EPA fuel economy figures will be available at a later date.

The completely retuned suspension and uprated brakes lay the foundation for exceptional performance and driving pleasure. The design of the new model line was also comprehensively improved. Every body part except for the luggage compartment lids, the windshield and the convertible top has been changed. Inside, a newly designed dash panel frames the cockpit. Furthermore, the latest generation of Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with a state-of-the-art touchscreen is included as standard. The navigation module is available as an option.

Efficient and powerful flat-four cylinder engines A completely new generation of turbocharged flat-four cylinder engines takes performance and efficiency in the 718 Boxster to new heights. Turbocharging significantly boosts torque. The two-liter engine of the 718 Boxster puts out 280 lb.-ft. of torque, which is available from 1,950 rpm to 4,500 rpm. To put this into perspective: The new engine makes 74 lb.-ft. or 36 percent more torque than the previous powertrain and does so over a much broader power band. The 2.5-liter engine of the 718 Boxster S develops 309 lb.-ft. from 1,900 rpm to 4,500 rpm – a 43 lb.-ft. gain over the outgoing Boxster S engine.

This yields significant gains in acceleration. The 718 Boxster – when equipped with PDK and the Sport Chrono Package – sprints from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds (0.7 seconds faster than the previous model). The 718 Boxster S outfitted with these performance-enhancing options reaches 60 miles per hour in 4.0 seconds (0.5 seconds faster than its predecessor). The top track speed of the 718 Boxster is 170 miles per hour (8 miles per hour faster than before), and the 718 Boxster S can achieve a top track speed of 177 miles per hour (5 miles per hour faster than previously).

Turbocharging also helps the powertrains of the 718 Boxster and Boxster S to be up to 14 percent more efficient than the previous engines according to the New European Driving Cycle. EPA figures will be available at a later date.

True to their pure, driver focused character, the 718 Boxster models come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. The Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK), which now features fuel-saving virtual gears, is available as an option.

New design emphasizes sharpened profile The 718 Boxster and Boxster S are immediately recognizable. The front has been resculpted and has a wider, more muscular appearance. Significantly larger cooling air intakes serve as a distinct symbol of the new turbocharged engine generation. Redesigned Bi-Xenon™ headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights are another striking feature. Optionally, LED headlights with four-point daytime running lights are available – a first for the mid-engine roadster.

From a side view, identifying features of the new model line include new, independently styled wings and side sills. Larger air inlet panels with two fins emphasize 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. 20-inch wheels are optionally available.

The redesigned rear fascia of the 718 Boxster models places a much greater emphasis on width – especially due to the strip with integrated Porsche badge located between the tail lights. The new taillights stand out thanks to three-dimensional LED technology and four-point brake lights.

Sportier suspension tuning and calibration for greater agility The outstanding dynamic performance of its namesake served as inspiration to continue to improve upon the exceptional handling of the mid-engine roadster. The 718 Boxster's completely retuned suspension enhances cornering performance. The electric steering system is 10 percent more direct than previously. This does not only increase agility and precision but also maneuverability, on challenging roads and track as well as in every-day traffic.

Optionally available: Porsche Active Suspension Management Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is available as an option and includes a ten millimeter lower ride height compared to the standard suspension. For the first time, the PASM Sport Suspension with a 20 millimeter lower ride height is available as an option for the 718 Boxster S. The active suspension, which has also been retuned, offers an even broader spread between ride comfort suitable for long road trips and stiffness necessary for spirited driving.

Sport Chrono Package for particularly engaging driving experience Just like in the 911, the optional Sport Chrono Package now includes the Individual program in addition to the three settings Normal, Sport and Sport Plus. In models equipped with PDK, the Sport Response Button, which was inspired by motorsports, has been added. It sharpens the responsiveness of the engine and the transmission to promote best possible acceleration.

New Porsche Communication Management as standard A familiar environment awaits the driver inside the new 718 Boxster, which has been upgraded with new elements such as the instrument panel. Another defining element of the new interior layout is the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with cell phone preparation, audio interfaces and the 110 watt Sound Package Plus. The PCM can be enhanced with a navigation module including voice control. Beyond that, the Connect Plus module is available as an extension of the navigation module, providing a wide array of online services.

The 718 Boxster and Boxster S go on sale now and will reach U.S. dealers in late June 2016. The 718 Boxster has a starting MSRP of $56,000, and the 718 Boxster S from $68,400, excluding the $1,050 destination charge.

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