The Porsche 718 Boxster sports a classic veneer with a new heart, bells and whistles.
Porsche’s latest facelift project has the auto world astir, and for good reason. It’s gone far beyond skin deep by swopping out the Boxster’s long-serving six-cylinder engine for a turbo flat-four in the new 718 Boxster incarnation.
What’s little known is that the four-cylinder boxer engine – named for how the pistons’ motions resemble a boxer throwing punches – has had a history with Porsche. In the ’50s and ’60s, Porsche’s 718 race cars took home prestigious titles with such setups. This latest Boxster is a tribute to that era, and marks the first time the German automaker has returned to the flat-four since the late ’60s.
The most distinctive change will be the demise of the characteristic engine yowl that fuelled many an enthusiast’s love for the roadster. Instead, engine sounds that are much less memorable are piped in electronically to the cabin.
What, then, is the sell? Porsche claims better fuel economy, more bursts of speed with higher torque, and a repositioned engine setup that allows crisper steering and more storage room. The $260,000 price tag will also buy you contemporary features such as navigation capabilities, a touchscreen and smartphone connectivity. Unfortunately for some, the analogue handbrake is victim to this rework – it’s been replaced by a nondescript button.
Is revamping the way forward, or will aficionados have trouble adjusting? The jury’s still out on this one.
Head to www.thepeakmagazine.com to watch The Peak’s test drive of the 718 Boxster at the Porsche World Roadshow.
BLASTS FROM THE PAST
Also cashing in on heritage.
Dubbed the continuation of the legendary 1957 race car, nine were recreated early this year. They were snapped up for $1.9 million each.
This is a hark back to the fabled GT40 of the ’60s’, which was purposebuilt to strike down Enzo Ferrari’s reign. Production is under way.