Porsche’s heavily revised roadster punches harder and faster, but does sowithout a spine-tingling soundtrack.
PORSCHE 718 BOXSTER S
MOST enthusiasts will agree that a sports car, especially a roadster, should possess three attributes: looks, power and handling.
A sports car, however, should also have soul-stirring vocals.
After all, there’s no point being able to accelerate quickly and carve through corners, if all that action isn’t accompanied by an equally exciting soundtrack.
Like many enthusiasts, I was stunned when Porsche replaced the Boxster’s naturally aspirated 2.7-litre flat-6 with a turbocharged 2-litre flat-4, and the naturally aspirated 3.4-litre flat-6 of the Boxster S with a turbocharged 2.5-litre flat-4.
Although smaller, the new engine in the 718 Boxster S delivers 350bhp and 420Nm, or 35bhp and 60Nm more than before. It makes the 718 Boxster S quicker from zero to 100km/h than the Boxster GTS and Boxster Spyder. That is impressive.
This Boxster accelerates compellingly. While the older 3.4-litre flat-6 needed to be stretched close to 5000rpm to really exploit its power, the turbocharged 2.5-litre flat4 will have the car zipping along even at 3000rpm.
And because the flat-4 produces 420Nm from just 1900rpm, the 718 Boxster S is easier to drive in stopand-go traffic compared to its predecessor.
However, I miss the previous Boxster S because I could stretch its motor to hear it sing. As the revs climbed, so would the hairs on the back of my neck.
Doing the same with the forced induction powerplant in the 718 Boxster S just doesn’t deliver the same feeling. No matter how hard I drove it, the soundtrack never became titillating.
What will get your heart racing is the car’s handling. Thanks to the revised suspension, which includes new, sturdier dampers, the vehicle’s agility is further improved.
And the helm, which is now the same one used in the 911 Turbo, is 10 percent quicker than before.
But given that the Boxster’s steering has always been sharp and precise, you’ll feel the difference only if you own or have owned the previous model.
Slicing through corners has always been a Boxster forte, and it is unbelievably good in this updated model. This roadster not only possesses even sharper turn-in – it has an even more neutral balance.
Equally incredible is the amount of grip at your disposal. You’ll be sorely tempted to push this car’s limits every chance you get because it never disappoints.
This “stronger boxer” will make you feel like a racecar driver. But you’ll have to imagine the spinetingling soundtrack yourself.
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