Along with new engines, more power and torque and higher outright performance figures, Porsche has also improved the driving dynamics of the new 718 Boxster and Boxster S.
According to Porsche, “completely new chassis tuning improves cornering performance”. Porsche is therefore expecting the new 718 Boxster S to be a full 16 seconds faster around the Nurburgring than the previous model.
The Boxster has always been about razor sharp driving dynamics and this new model looks set to step forward significantly in that area.
“Our aim is always to be best in class,” chassis product line manager for the 718 Joachim Meyer claims. “We’ve been able to move the segment forward and offer the best performance in the segment. That includes comfort too. Performance is the focus, but comport is also important for us.”
The new horizontally opposed four-cylinder engines that are more powerful than the old sixes are still mounted amidships (read all about their outputs here) and are tethered by new, adaptive engine mounts (two of them) and positioned to offer a close to perfect 45:55 percent weight distribution from front to rear.
The base model is 5kg heavier than the old model, while the S is 15kg heavier. The engine unit is 8.1kg lighter, but the added weight comes mainly from the braking system and the strengthening required for the upgraded power.
When the Boxster is idling, the mounts decouple to isolate vibration and keep the cabin as calm as possible, but while driving, they switch over to a stiffer connection to minimise weight shift and movement of the engine’s mass. Opt for the Sport Chrono Package and you also get advanced dynamic transmission mounts, which further tighten the performance driving feel.
The rear suspension has been retuned with a new lateral member, which strengthens the rear subframe, and improves lateral rigidity. New shock absorbers feature larger piston and cylinder tube diameters to improve precision of the wheel through its arc of travel. The rear wheels are also 0.5-inches wider, which allow the fitment of wider tyres and deliver increased cornering stability.
The hydraulic vibration dampers have also been retuned and the stabiliser bars and springs have higher ratings. This combines to minimise pitch and rolling when cornering at speed, and Porsche has also implemented additional rebound buffer springs. Porsche says you’ll see less lifting of the front end under hard acceleration and less roll angle during dynamic cornering.
“The increase in torque especially meant we needed to revise the strength an rigidity of the suspension system,” explained Meyers.
The electromechanical steering system – now a Porsche trademark and standard setter – has been tweaked to deliver even better handling than the already brilliant Boxster. Porsche claims 10 per cent more direct action from the system, thanks to the adoption of the steering gear from the 911 Turbo.
The system combines to deliver more dynamic feedback at speed, but is less resistance at parking speeds for a much more pleasurable all-round experience.
Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) can be optioned and brings with it a 10mm lower ride height than the standard system. It’s exclusively for the Boxster S and, for the first time, there is a PASM option that lowers ride height by 20mm. Porsche claims that in both cases, the active chassis, which has been retuned, offers a near perfect compromise between long distance touring comfort and dynamic sporty handling.
“This allows us to give you even more everyday usability and performance,” said Meyers. “We pursued the idea of having consistently lower weight in all components as well.”
Like the suspension package, the braking system has also been revised for the new 718 Boxster. The basic Boxster now comes standard with the system previously used for Boxster S (330mm rotors front, 299mm rear). The Boxster S steps up to the four-piston calipers of the 911 Carrera at the front end.
Porsche is also equipping both models with its multi collision brain system, a system which can reduce the severity of a secondary accident by automatically braking the vehicle after the first collision where the airbags were triggered.
New Boxster also gets a sharper tune for Porsche Stability Management (PSM). When you opt for a Boxster with Sport Chrono, the system utilises a separate mode known as ‘PSM Sport’ that is activated by pushing the PSM Button in the centre console. This new mode lets enthusiastic drivers explore the outer performance limits of the vehicle and will be perfect for track days.
“We believe the PASM system suits all types of drivers for all types of conditions,” says Meyers.
The new system allows for much larger yaw angles, and more slip at the wheels so you can have a much more dynamic (read: fun) experience behind the wheel. Porsche claims the best part of this system is it means you don’t need to completely deactivate PSM, even for more experienced drivers, which is therefore much safer.
In keeping with Porsche’s philosophy that drivers should be able to deactivate all systems if they want to, you can still turn PSM off completely, but its comforting to know you don’t have to, and you can still have some fun.
“We’ve even worked with Pirelli in developing a new generation of tyres for the new Boxster,” says Meyers. “It was imperative that we achieved best in class dynamics and braking performance and the tyres are integral to this. The tyre must be highly stable in terms of performance, managing temperature and providing ample grip at all times.”
The 718 Boxster and Boxster S models will be priced from $113,100 and $143,400 respectively, both plus on-road costs. These figures represent price increases of $8400 and $12,300 respectively. Order books are now open.
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