Featured: What Do You Think Of Porsche’s New 718 Boxster?

What Do You Think Of Porsche’s New 718 Boxster?

By Michael Banovsky
January 27, 2016
20 comments

Photography Courtesy of Porsche

One of the best things about Porsche is the way it develops its vehicles. From the start, it’s been an engineering, task, and project-driven company, with iterations between models often spelled out plainly in chrome on the decklid: S, 4, 4S, Turbo, Turbo S…

A new Porsche model name is a big deal, and this year it’s “718 Boxster”. The it’s-been-around-for-20-years six-cylinder Boxster is no more, replaced with a four-cylinder engine family that is more powerful and more efficient. If this was a racing car we were talking about, the change would be hailed as a huge improvement. I mean, it’s going to be a quick car: 60 mph is done in 4.2 seconds if you’ve ordered the 718 Boxster S with PDK and a Sport Chrono package.

But because it means you can no longer buy a normally-aspirated 6-cylinder mid-engined Porsche, some may not welcome the changes with open arms. I think that’s probably silly. I haven’t driven the new car, and nor have you, so what will Porsche have to do to impress you with its latest mid-engined roadster?

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Greg Deschodt
Greg Deschodt
6 years ago

To me it’s all going to come down to “sound”. I’ve had boxster + Cayman S and the wail of the flat 6 near 7200 RPM was something I enjoyed a lot. But those cars were always a bit short on torque and power. So the turbo 4 will be a winner *IF* they can tune it to sound great (not easy, ask F1) and also have a decent RPM range. It would be sad if it ran out of steam at 5500 or something… It’s a beautiful looking car as upgraded – cannot wait to see the Cayman – and the logic of the cabrio costing more than the hardtop has been restored (good for my future cayman purchase). Also, the base model now makes about the same HP and way more torque than the old S(s), so the base could finally be a car you buy without regrets and be the bargain buy of the lineup ! Especially since it is a turbo and you know those can be tuned aftermarket sooner or later !

Phil Burtscher
Phil Burtscher
6 years ago

Its all in the tech specs on Porsche.com Curb Weight 2944 lbs (S – 2988 lbs)

Boxerman
Boxerman
6 years ago

For the majority of people who buy these cars this will be an improvement. Most sporty car buyers are poseur idiots, so the turbo will sound to be an improvement. The huge low down torque along with pdk will make it feel really fast for wife no2.

We know its not an improvement because it weighs more. If going to a 4 reduced weight 200lbs and improved dynamics I could see the improvemt arguement.

Fortunatly porche seems to be developing a “classic” 991 and cayman line. These cars will still be NA flat 6’s and offer manuals. As they will be freed from having to offer creature comforts, ease of use or paper spec performance, from a drivers perspective they will be a dynamic improvement over all current offerings.

So porche is going to offer two types of car and two types of buyer using one bodyshell style but very different motors and dynamics.. One turbo pdk for the volume crowd, and one NA 6 for the driver crowd. This one(turbo 4) is not for the driver crowd, and to its intended audience should sell just fine..

58Olds
58Olds
6 years ago

Hate, hate, hate. Wow. I like small stuffed engines. I autocross and track day both sorts, and they simply have different characteristics. I enjoy my naturally aspirated BMW for it’s building power curve, and I equally enjoy my GTI for it’s amazingly flat power curve. I can steer both with the throttle equally well, despite the turbo, electronic throttle, and (gasp) wrong wheel drive of the GTI. I enjoy each one for what it is.

Porsche was reaching the point of no separation between the series. A small turbo unit will help them reach younger (people in their 30’s, ha ha) customers that grew up on Subies and have run out of Supras and Volvo R’s to ruin. These customers can then step up to a 6 and build with the brand.

-hh Huntzinger
-hh Huntzinger
6 years ago

I’m pretty ambivalent about this product update. And yes, despite the name change to a number, it is merely an update.

The move to “all turbos” does concern me. I understand the pollution control realities, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like how that change is being imposed. The good news is that my N/A Porsche will appreciate in value. But I do hope that Porsche is able to offer a N/A Flat 6 as an option, and hopefully at a non-outrageous price…and an official statement in this regards would be greatly appreciated by the customer community who are dreading this change.

On price, the +5\% increase concerns me, mostly because it is in addition to a +20\% change in currency exchange rates, which for the USA market means that Porsche is effectively getting a +25\% price increase. We’ve seen Porsche try to protect their market before by “Escaping Upscale”, not successfully, plus using that approach today runs directly contrary to their interest in growing volume. Perhaps if there actually was any news of a new sub-Boxster product for the younger aspirational customer market that’s in the low-$40K range I can begrudgingly accept this strategy here, but we all know that a 914 or 924/944 doesn’t really seem likely, which means that the strategy will continue to be disinterested in cultivating future automotive enthusiasts. I already see this trend in our local PCA chapter, as there’s been being fewer & fewer younger faces around (other than the children of current PCA members who are family members, since they often can’t afford their own Porsche … at least one that’s less than a decade or two old).

Robert Evans
Robert Evans
6 years ago

I love it. Bring back the numbering and smaller engines with more power. Its the core of the company. For the ones that hate the car or what Porsche is doing then don’t buy it. This website is about celebrating all the creative ways car manufactures try to stand out while producing a product that everyone else is making too. Too much end of the world talk and not enough enjoyment of diversity.

Pedro Macedo
Pedro Macedo
6 years ago

The engine downsize doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve driven plenty of turbo cars which were highly enjoyable, it only depends on how Porsche tuned this engine.
I like the minor design changes aesthetically-wise, I think it looks better than the current Boxster.
The only negative side I see in this is if, in fact, it’s bigger and heavier than the current Boxster. I’d loved to see it get a bit smaller and lighter, but at the same time I’ve heard rumors about Porsche wanting to release a new entry-level car, smaller and cheaper than the 718 Boxster, which would mean that by increasing the overall body size for the 718 Boxster they can be preparing the Porsche range for that new “baby Porsche”.

Nevertheless, I’m sure the 718 Boxster will be super fun to drive, and I’m willing to bet sales numbers will be good. Saying that it taints the brand (and the brand’s history) is an overreaction, in my humble opinion.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange
6 years ago

Personally I think this a neat update of the previous Boxster, and in the UK the lower C02 rating should bring some savings in road tax. I’m not particularly bothered that it has moved from a six to a four and will be somewhat curious to hear what Porsche’s flat four sounds like (I rather like the growl that Subaru’s flat four makes).
The most interesting point on this is yet to be revealed in that will the 718 moniker allow Porsche to correct the previous curious pricing decision of making the Cayman Coupe more expensive than the open Boxster?

911erFrank
911erFrank
6 years ago

The only thing bothering me is that Porsche pretends this car is something new, although it is actually nothing more than a extended facelift of the existing Boxter… Otherwise, owning a flat-6 911 I am looking forward to more downsizing, fake sound etc. etc. Make me feel more proud and happy about my dated looking 911. So this is all in all great news to the Petrolicious community, isn’t it! : )

KTGTS
KTGTS
6 years ago

I’m not really sure what you expect the reaction to be at Petrolicious, which almost by definition is a community for get-off-my-lawn, Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, types. Most commenters here still haven’t unclutched their pearls from when water cooling became a thing.

It’s a good post to get people a-clickin’, a-commentin’, and mayhap even a-guitar-slingin’, but this isn’t really the website to glean objective commentary on any innovation.

Michael Conforti
Michael Conforti
6 years ago

Somehow you missed why this is going to be a flop.
1. A turbo 4 in place of a NA Flat six (that’s enough of a reason to pass)
2. Large price increase for 2 less combustion chambers. Only Porsche has the balls to try this.
3. Turbo lag.
4. Let’s see if we can may the name a little more confusing. It is very clear that they want to have the positives halo of the NA Flat 6 Caymans and Boxsters but the marketing folks want to revive the 718 model which was really a short lived race car. That was 1/2 the size of this over weight 4 banger.
5. The official weight is not available yet, but the experts say it will weight about 100 lbs more. 3100+ It appears that the turbo weights more they the 2 missing pistons.

This is what happens when auto companies start thinking they know what we need. I predict the following:

Porsche will drop the Boxster and Cayman names with in 24 months or less from the 718. Once they do not get the sales numbers (read enhanced profit margins) they want they will go into defensive mode. They will bring the Boxster and Cayman back as another model.

A reality check is about to happen.

geelongvic
geelongvic
6 years ago

We actually don’t know enough now about weight and dimensions to give
a truly valid assessment, but based on cabin appearance width, the 718 dimensionally will likely remain excessively wide and continue current Porsche trends to being portly, compared to earlier series.

I suspect that longitudinally there is sufficient room for a six cylinder variant in the future, a 718/6 possibly in a year or two after the current launch.

Based only on appearance, actual weight will likely be in the range of 3000+ lb, possibly 2900 lb at best. This will likely be a far distance from the 2000+ weight of the 914 and the 2200-2400 lb of the early 911’s.

Increased mass reduces tossability as a dynamic feature, but this has been a distant long lost concern of the manufacturer compared to prior loved Porsches

All this said, based on the projected price point, the 718 should be a successful series for Porsche. That point alone depresses me about the future trajectory of Porsche, and leads me to agree with GS and his conclusions.

I will happily hold onto my “old, ancient” Porsches for their delightful driving experiences, albeit slower than their “modern” relatives. Remember that speed and acceleration is only a limited part of the driving pleasure experience.

The total driving experience and our love of that is the reason why Petrolicious exists, or so I think.

Tom DesRochers
Tom DesRochers
6 years ago

I’d have to agree with GS about preferring NA over turbo for the driving experience. I’ve driven turbo cars and the power delivery took some getting used to.

Also, that video in the article had a few shots that reminded me of this (from the year 2000) https://youtu.be/45f11Bqb83c

Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves
6 years ago

They all look the same to me….

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman
6 years ago

another n/a to mourn over.
at least they keep a manual gearbox option.
off to the lotus dealer
😉

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
6 years ago

Sigh … and another one bites the dust of substituting genuinely engineered normally aspirated motors for asthmatic turbos .. lag and all [ regardless of what the pundits say ] complete with flappy paddle shifty thingies . Now all Porsche needs to do is to load the thing up with enough cupholders to accommodate a baseball team along with enough infotainment in it to keep the miserable whining little dyslexic ADD hummingbird brats happy while riding in the passenger seat .

And all this … just at the point where Porsche was finally beginning to deliver some 911 power to the Boxster/Cayman twins . Sad ….. how the mighty once again are falling away … succumbing to the cheapest and easiest way to power … all while sacrificing long term reliability .

PS Banovsky …. I don’t need to of driven this to tell you exactly what the end result will be . Anyone over the last five years thats dealt with the turbo vs cubic inches debate can tell you exactly what it’ll drive like . Synthetic … soft …. horrid synthesized sound to make up for the lack of noise from said asthmatic turbo etc . Seriously … this aint no mini me 911 Turbo …. this Mr Banovsky .. is all about Porsche bottom line … not your driving enjoyment ..

So what do I think ? FAIL .. with a capitol ‘ F’ .. but the deluded amongst us will fall for it anyway … the whole concept of a sports / super / etc car having down the virtual road to hell …. and now Porsche going right down with the rest of them

Thank god I had my day in the automotive sun … and thank god this site 99\% of the time is devoted to older cars … cause 99.999\% of the new stuff … is downright depressing .

Sad … truly sad … Porsche going down the turbo Rabbit Hole with a fluffed up asthmatic I4 … sniff

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
6 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

Oh wait … hang on Banovsky .. thats right … you’re an advocate for the MP4/12C derivatives as well as the Alfa 4C … never mind Banovsky … you just don’t get it … but I’ll bet with a bit of education and some serious on road and track experience …

… you could ! 😉

Koenraad De Roo
Koenraad De Roo
6 years ago

That is one sweet looking monster machine! Wow! I love the styling of the rear end.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
6 years ago

Wow ? Ahem good sir . Its a mildly tarted up Boxster … at best