Porsche_718_Boxster_frontPorsche 718 Boxster has arrived in Australia to the delight of all Porsche enthusiasts, especially those who can’t afford a 911. The new ‘718’ title is in recognition of the Porsche 718 sportscars that were victorious in races during the 1950s and ‘60s. It also ties in with the title of the Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid supercar.

Though technically not an all-new model the Porsche 718 Boxster has significantly revised styling, retuned suspension and steering, and most importantly all-new four-cylinder engines that produce significantly more power and torque, yet create fewer emissions than the superseded flat-sixes.

The 718 Boxster has a 2.0-litre flat-four that develops 220 kW of power and 380 Nm of torque. The 718 Boxster S has 25 per cent more capacity at 2.5 litres and produces 257 kW and 420 Nm. The ‘S’ engine’s turbocharger variable turbine geometry (VTG) is similar to that in the Porsche 911 Turbo.

Peak torque from the 2.0-litre is there all the way from 1950 to 4500 rpm. The 2.5-litre comes in even lower, at 1900 revs and also continues to 4500 rpm.

Both Porsche 718 models come with a seven-speed manual gearbox, the Porsche DoppelKupplungsgetriebe (PDK) dual-clutch is an option.

Acceleration of the 718 Boxsters is stunning. The 2.0-litre with PDK transmission and the, optional, Sport Chrono Package gets from zero to 100 km/h in 4.7 secs. That’s 0.8 secs faster than the superseded model.


Boxster 718 S in the same configuration takes only 4.2 seconds (0.6 secs faster) to get to 100 km/h.

Should you do some track work, or happen to be in the Northern Territory you may be able to reach 275 km/h in the 718 Boxster, the Boxster S gets to 285 km/h.

The only visible parts shared by the 718 and the previous Boxster are the luggage compartment lids, the windscreen and the convertible roof. The air inlets in the sides are larger than before and the door panels have two fins to give a dynamic side profile.

However, the appearance of the new car is certainly familiar. Porsche has previously been in strife with purists after making what are seen as body radical changes, so this conservative approach is probably wise.

A new dash design houses the latest generation of Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with a state-of-the-art touchscreen. It has mobile phone compatability, audio interfaces, navigation and voice control as standard.

Porsche engineers have given Boxster 718 a completely retuned chassis and the electro-mechanical steering system is 10 per cent more direct.


The optional Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) has a 10 mm lower ride height and, for the first time, PASM with a 20 mm lower ride height is available as an option for the 718 Boxster S.

The Sport Chrono Package, again an extra cost option, now provides an Individual program in addition to the three settings Normal, Sport and Sport Plus.

On the road the first thing we noticed was the sound and beat of the engine. Slightly uneven in nature it has exactly the sort of note to make even boring traffic driving feel just that little bit better.

We delighted in the big spread of torque that’s seemingly endless in the way it propels the 718 along. Hilly driving was a feature of the road program laid out by Porsche Australia where we tested the new Boxsters in the areas behind the north coast of NSW then Brisbane. We finished up at the Mount Cotton driver training centre where we were allowed to push the German sports cars to their max.

These days automatics are often quicker than manuals. Call me old fashioned, but I still prefer DIY gearshifting although I have to admit the super-sharp PDK changes are a delight when you’re going hard. The shift action on the manual is short and has an excellent feel.

Handling of the new 718 is superb in all conditions, with near perfect balance thanks to the mid mounting of the engine. The new steering setup really does seem to sense the driver’s needs under all circumstances.

It’s a bit of a cliche to say the car ‘talks’ to you, but it really does feel like that, particularly if you want to push it along. A perfect car for that legendary Sunday drive on your favourite road.

The new Porsche Boxsters continue to be bargains for their class, being priced at just $113,100 for the 718 Boxster, $143,400 puts you into the driver’s seat of a 718 Boxster S. Government and dealer charges have to added to these recommended prices.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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