Although top-of-the-line 718s will use six-cylinder engines like their direct forebears, the biggest-selling Boxster, Boxster S, Cayman and Cayman S are now powered by horizontally opposed four-cylinder engines – just like the racing Porsches of the 1960s of the same numerical identity.
The lower-rung Boxster’s engine is a 2.0-litre unit of 296bhp and 280lb ft and the higher-end Boxster S has 2.5 litres with 345bhp and 310lb ft. Both engines have the same 76.4mm cylinder stroke and significantly oversquare cylinders.
Both are also turbocharged. And although turbos fitted to 911s come in pairs, the 718s fly solo.
The Boxster S’s turbo has variable-geometry turbine technology to help with low-end response, but the 2.0-litre Boxster’s doesn’t.
Both motors can ‘pre-condition’ their turbos when part-loaded by retarding ignition timing slightly and increasing throttle position to compensate.
Relative to the Boxster it succeeds, the 718’s dimensions are little altered. It’s within 5mm of the outgoing car on length and 2mm on height and it has the same width and wheelbase.
The mix of aluminium and steel in the body-in-white is mostly as it was, although outwardly the only body parts to be carried over from the old car are the luggage compartment covers and cloth roof.
Porsche’s DIN kerb weight claim for the Boxster is 1335kg. With fuel and some options, our test car weighed 1395kg. That’s about what it ought to be and fairly light for an open two-seat sports car.
Porsche’s main intention with its suspension tweaks was to add purpose and precision to the handling without sacrificing anything on ride comfort. Stiffer coil springs and thicker anti-roll bars feature on the all-corner MacPherson strut set-up but, more important, the car gets more direct electromechanical power steering, larger dampers, a new, stronger rear subframe and wider rear wheels.
Those who want to depart from the standard passive dynamic tune can opt for PASM adaptive dampers (accompanied by shorter springs for a 10mm drop in ride height, as on our test car) or, on the Boxster S only, PASM Sport suspension, which is lower and stiffer still.
Both PASM set-ups benefit from new spring height and accelerometer sensors.