Hugh Maguire: is very impressed with this roadster
Porsche are a premium manufacturer of one of the most iconic sports car in the world, the 911as well as sports SUV’s the Macan and Cayenne and the Panamera sports saloon.
Their pure sports car line up consists of the 918 Spyder Hypercar, the iconic 911, the Boxster and the Cayman as well as some limited edition more hardcore models such as the 911 R, 911GT3 and 911GT3 RS and GT2 RS.
This week then I am road testing the Porsche 718 Boxster.
The latest Porsche cars have smaller capacity engines but are now turbocharged for lower emissions and better fuel efficiency.
Purists and followers of the iconic brand fear though that something of the character of these cars is being lost by turbocharging as it tends to muffle that fabulous Porsche engine sound.
The Boxster is available with either a 2 litre flat four or as in the S model a 2.5 litre flat 4 cylinder petrol unit with either manual or with Porsches optional race derived PDK transmission.
So has it any street cred?
The 718 Boxster is a pure two seat sports car with a mid mounted engine driving of course the rear wheels.
It looks absolutely fabulous with flowing curves and lines that give it a “means business” look about it. Its a stunning looking roadster. There is nothing to compare!
What its like inside?
The dash and centre console layout is ergonomically perfect and looks beautiful too. Its all perfectly crafted with great attention to detail and of the highest quality.
From the moment you sit into the leather clad figure hugging sports seats you know you are sitting in a very special sports car. The driver sits low down into the car, you feel part of it. That 4 cylinder turbo charged engine sits just behind your head.
The level of standard equipment is very good but as always with Porsche their is an extensive and very tempting options list that will soon push the asking price to wallet busting limits! I will not detail them all here because you can “build your own Porsche” to exactly your specifications with the dealer or on their new Irish Porsche Configurator website.
What about that engine?
The Boxster is powered by a 2.0 litre flat four cylinder petrol engine with 24 valves and Variocam plus.
Mated as standard to a 6-speed manual gearbox or as in my test car the amazing 7-speed PDK double clutch semi automatic system the combination offers blistering performance.
With PDK the 718 Boxster will hit 100km/h from a standstill in just 5.1 seconds and continue to a top speed of 275 km/h.
With PDK you can floor the throttle and it snaps through the gears without even a hint of lag between upshifts.
It's super fast and immensely enjoyable to drive so there is no question the latest Boxster has lost nothing here.
However, it has lost some of the wonderful soundtrack of the previously normally aspirated engine and thats a pity. It just does not sound as good. Maybe purchasing the optional but expensive sports exhaust will help?
What’s it like to drive?
The balance and handling from the mid-engine rear wheel drive 718 Boxster is a purists dream. Levels of grip are simply phenomenal and its safe to say that on a public road you will never be able to explore the full capabilities of this car. It's always better than you can deliver as a driver.
With that mid mounted engine offering near perfect weight distribution turn in is pin sharp with the Boxster tracking your chosen line through a corner with unerring precision.
Yet the ride comfort is surprisingly good with Porsche’s PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) able to adapt to your driving style immediately, or of course use the “Sports” button to firm things up yourself.
So to the verdict
The mid engined 718 Boxster really is a purists dream, with near perfect balance.
The seamless relentless acceleration with PDK, powerful brakes and limpet like grip make the Boxster simply brilliant and on a sunny day that roof folds down in less than 12 seconds. The price for motoring Nirvana start at €79,192 for the Boxster and €100,075 for the Boxster S.
The best roadster money can buy!