First Looks – 2017 PORSCHE 718 BOXSTER.
Racing back into History with The PORSCHE 356
Gmünd, Austria, 1948. The streets roared to life with the sound of the first ever Porsche, a 356, spluttering and banging its way around the narrow roads. Attracting attention as it went along, history was made as the first ever, mid-engine four cylinder PORSCHE, rolled out of a sawmill and made a name for itself.
Having etched their name into the pages of history for making sporty and agile roadsters, they took it further by making racing cars. One of which is the 718 (1957 – 1962), used to race in several racing categories such as Le Mans 24 hours, Formula 1 and 2 and the European Hill Climb. A couple of great names in racing to have ever piloted this beauty included Graham Hill and Sir Sterling Moss.
The PORSCHE 718 RSK
Fast forward almost seven decades later, Porsche have brought back its past, to give us something great for the future. The new age of 4 cylinder engines on the 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S. PORSCHE’s newest range to its already existing forced induction models.
The 718 Boxster (left) and the 718 Boxster S (right)
Launched in Singapore last Thursday at Infinity Studios, Porsche Asia Pacific presented us with the two new cars. Although they look similar to the previous model, they could not be any more different.
Due to euro emissions regulations, PORSCHE have developed a whole new engine. The number of cylinders on the new 718 Boxster have been reduced from 6 to 4, but do not fret. To compensate for this change, they have added a single turbo (courtesy of Borg Warner) capable of a boost of 20.3psi for the 2.0 litre model and a 14.3psi turbo with VTG (variable turbine geometry) which was taken from the 911 turbo. These additions translate in to impressive numbers. The Standard 718 Boxster now puts out 296HP where it once made 261hp. The 718 Boxster S is now 345HP as compared to the previous model’s 311hp. A substantial leap in performance which will ultimately lead to a more exciting driving experience.
Even though the numbers aren’t exactly a great improvement, they make a lot of difference in your everyday drive as well as on the track. PORSCHE offers their PDK and Sport Chrono Package for both modes which lets you sprint from zero to 100kn/h in 4.7 seconds for the standard 718 (.08 seconds faster than the previous model), and the Boxster S does its sprint to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds (0.6 seconds faster than the previous Boxster S). The new 718 Boxster’s speed range revs up to 7,500rpm and has a power decline from nominal to maximum engine speed is at a surprising low of five percent, unmatched by any other turbo-charged engine of its class. The 718 Boxster allows the driver to use the its sublime accelerating power over a broad range of engine speed without having to changes gears often. Its full torque and power is always readily available right after gear shifts and unlike other cars, the torque gains are especially noticeable above the 100km/h mark. Top speeds for both cars are 275km/h for the 718 Boxster, and 285km/h for the 718 Boxster S.
Being one of the few cars which PORSCHE manufactures with an engine mounted in the middle, means that it has a perfect weight distribution between the axles and gives it a great balance through tight corners. Also, since the engine drives the rear wheels and the fronts wheels just steer, you will get excellent feedback through the steering wheels which will add to that almost erotic driving experience.
Keeping to tradition, the new 718 Boxster’s exterior changes are subtle but noticeable. Overall the car has taken on a slightly more muscular and angular look. The front end looks wider thanks to the new narrow design for the front lights which come with optional four point LEDs, as well as angular fins which run from the front of the bonnet to the windscreen.
The side profile remains almost the same but now has larger air holes to not only cool the engine but to also allow cool air into the turbo. In addition, there are newly designed side sills and wings and door handles without add-on handle shells.
The rear has taken on more restyling with its new accent strip bearing the PORSCHE badge between the tail lights. The rear’s sharper edges along with the edge at the height of the reflectors adds a stronger presence. The remodelled rear lights are now more prominent with the three-dimensional LED technology and four-point brake lights.
Overall a great design and a throaty new engine will add to PORSCHE’s already strong on-road reputation in Singapore. With several cars already ordered (and hopefully on their way here), we can expect to see and experience PORSCHE’s newest offering to us fairly soon. If you feel the 718 Boxster’s soft top is not your style, just wait for the unveiling of their new Cayman.