Wearing the 718 name made famous by the 1957 718 RSK roadster, the new 718 Boxster and soon-to-be launched 718 Cayman sibling have returned to four-cylinder power to increase efficiency and reduce emissions - 20 years after the original Boxster made its debut.
Starting at $113,100 before on-road costs, the new 718 Boxster is offered in both Boxster and 718 Boxster S variants.
Powering the standard 718 Boxster is a newly-developed mid-mounted 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 220kW of power and 380Nm of torque - up 25kW/100Nm on the old 2.7-litre flat six - while the hotter 718 Boxster S is powered by a more potent 2.5-litre turbo that puts out 257kW and 424Nm - compared to 232kW/360Nm from the previous Boxster S’ 3.4-litre naturally-aspirated flat six.
Both engines come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, with Porsche’s Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) dual-clutch shifter optional in both grades.
With the optional Sport Chrono package, the 718 Boxster goes from 0-100km/h in just 4.7 seconds - nearly a whole second faster than the previous model - while the S completes the benchmark sprint in 4.2 seconds, 0.6 seconds faster than the old Boxster S.
Porsche claims a top speed of 275km/h for the 718 Boxster and 285km/h for the 718 Boxster S.
The higher performance also comes with lower fuel consumption, with the 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S claiming 6.9L/100km and 7.3L/100km respectively - improvements of up to 13 per cent.
Visual changes distinguishing the new 718 Boxster from the previous model aren’t as dramatic, however trainspotters will notice subtle differences such as the larger air intakes and the new headlight design.
Three-dimensional LED tail lights are the most notable changes at the rear, with the company’s four-point brake light design now making its way to its smallest sports car. THe same four-point signature can be optioned for the headlights with a full-LED upgrade over the standard bi-xenon units.
Porsche says that the redesigned front and rear of the 718 Boxster gives a “wider and more masculine appearance”, while new alloy wheel designs are also identifying features of the new model with the Boxster S featuring 19-inch rims as standard and 20-inch units optional.
The upgrades continue inside the cabin, with the 718 Boxster coming standard with the the company’s Porsche Communication management (PCM) infotainment system as standard, which includes satellite navigation, digital radio and voice control, hooked up to a 110 watt audio system.
Porsche claims that the 718 Boxster’s chassis has been retuned to improve performance in corners, while the electromechanical steering system has, according to the brand, configured to be 10 per cent more direct than before.
Options range from adaptive chassis and suspension control to an infotainment upgrade that includes Apple CarPlay compatibility.
Like other Porsche models, the 718 Boxster range is available with the Sport Chrono Package, that includes three driving modes - Normal, Sport and Sport Plus. When equipped with the PDK transmission, the package also adds the Sports Response Button, which allows the driver to configure the responsiveness of the engine and transmission.
Adding to the options list is the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) system, that is offered across the 718 Boxster line-up. In the Boxster, PASM comes with a 10mm lower ride height, while a more sophisticated PASM with active chassis is optional on the Boxster S, including a 20mm drop in ride height, along with an active chassis that the company claims to offer a “broader spread between long-distance touring comfort and dynamic sporty stiffness”.
Priced from $113,100 and $143,400 for the 718 Boxster and Boxster S respectively, the new Porsche 718 Boxster range is available to order now with first deliveries to commence mid-2016.