Porsche 718 Boxster
The wheels are only 18 inches in our base spec car. That we are used to seeing such profile tyres on sports cars these days, these look like they are from a bygone era. But they do offer good ride quality and peace of mind when driving over bad roads.
The 2.0 flat four is essentially the new 911 3.0 flat six with two cylinders removed. The turbocharger in this one runs up to 20.3psi with peak torque of 380Nm coming in at just 1950 rpm and holding that way all the way to 4500rpm. Peak power comes in strong at 6500 rpm. The engine revs up to 7500rpm which is quite lofty for a turbocharged unit. It feels meatier than the outgoing 2.7-litre flat six with strong mid-range and clever PDK ratios. The engine is also very smooth, thanks to its inherent balance and active engine mounts which loosen up at low speeds for refinement and stiffen up at high speeds for that more connected feel. It also has a characteristic sound, unmistakable of a flat four, with a deep rumble at low revs and a high pitched note when letting loose. The sound is similar to a 911’s flat six and thankfully not like a tuned-up Subaru as most might imagine.
With 296bhp and 380Nm torque, the standard Boxster now has performance comparable to the earlier S model with the 3.4-litre engine. This must be the first time in the Boxster’s life that the base engine feels sufficient and torquey. Yes, there is some unavoidable turbo lag when you are caught in traffic and moving off, but once in its wake, it shines through. 0-100kmph comes up in 5.2 seconds but the Boxster is not about straight line performance. This is a car for the windy bits of roads. You’d struggle to find a better handling car at this price point than the Boxster. There is so much grip and balance through the corners you’d be focussing on correcting your line further and braking later for the next one. There is ample grunt to push you through after each corner and enough give in the chassis to be playful with the car. The new steering is even sharper and thanks to the weight savings, the car feels more eager to change directions than ever before. The bigger brakes are borrowed from the earlier S models (the S now gets ones from the 911) and have much better bite, giving you tonnes of confidence at speeds.