First DriveAhead of its official launch, we get an early ride and technical overview of the Porsche 718 Boxster S. Can a turbo flat four really replace a howling flat six?
First DriveOptional Sports Chassis turns the standard Porsche Boxster S into a focussed track day blaster
What is it?
It’s Porsche base Boxster, now equipped with the same specification of 2.7-litre engine as the regular Cayman. That means VarioCam Plus valve control (essentially variable valve timing), an extra five horses (now 241bhp) and 201lb ft of torque at 4600rpm.
What’s it like?
Sweet, without ever feeling genuinely rapid. Just as in the Cayman, the engine sounds pretty rough at low revs. Then as the VarioCam kicks in higher up the range you get a pleasing howl from behind your ears.
Things do start to happen more quickly – the Boxster will hit 160mph, after all – but the taller ratios in the five-speed gearbox mean that things never get frantic.
That could be a problem – we’d much prefer a six-speeder in the more focused Cayman, for example – but the lack of sixth seems less of an issue here. The Boxster has always sold on its all-round ability and it still offers a terrific blend of performance, relaxed cruising and, when the weather is better than Britain in January, top-down posing.
The interior is basically unchanged but that’s no bad thing. The ergonomics are excellent and build quality feels superb.
Should I buy one?
The Boxster has long been our benchmark for small roadsters. We see little here that should change this view: if anything, this mild tweakage reinforces the car’s status as class leader.