If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’d know that I was on my way to look at a 2016 Porsche 718 Boxster S. What you wouldn’t know is how I missed out on driving it. (I’ll give you a hint. Snobby salesmen who didn’t listen when I arranged the meeting, and somehow I don’t look the part.) But enough of that. Here are some things you probably didn’t know about the 4 pot Porsche 718 Boxster.
The Quality is mindblowing
Consider this. When the roof is up, there is no indication that this is a rag top. Padding and comfort surround the entire cabin, the dashboard is soft to the touch. Its so well built, I bet you could measure the panel gaps with a vernier caliper and get the same measurement all round the car.
It’s very small
Usually small means compact, nippy – small as in Kia Picanto or I10, but in this case, small means exactly that. Small.
The interior, while not cramped, is tight, especially with the roof up. You won’t struggle to get in and out of the car, but having a few extra KG’s will certainly take away some comfort. This is expected from a 2 seater sports car, but when you look at the bigger picture, the interior cabin in this Porsche is, if I should guess, roughly the same, if not a bit smaller, than the Mazda MX 5.
While there is some place behind the seats in said MX5, the 718 Boxster offers you nothing. But there is one obvious reason for that, one I am sure you are clever enough to figure out.
A prime example is the center console. While you can put something in there, it’s better suited as an armrest.
From the outside things don’t get different. The 19″ low profile wheels (Boxster S models only) accompanied by the massive wings and low slung curves makes it look big, but there is not much difference to a normal car when you get up close. The height of the car is what threw me off a bit. It is lower than I expected, and that is with the roof up!
It has no Engine
Excitedly I asked permission for the “boot” to be opened, and found nothing. While this is an old joke, in this case there was litteraly no “engine” to gawk at. There is ample loading space in the front, bigger than most econo-cars, and if the roof is up, you get even more loading space at the back.
But the engine was not to be seen at all. It was hidden away beneath an array of carpets and luggage space. There was not even an indication of an engine cover.
Apparently, this according to the salesman, if you want to do a basic engine check, the vehicle needs to be hoisted, and the inspection carried out from underneath the car.
It’s a parts-bin car
So that may be a bit exaggerated, and not entirely true. It does however, share quite a lot of parts with it’s big brother, the 911. Things like the front suspension setup, steering wheel, infotainment system and seats comes straight from a 911. There are obviously some differences, especially between the Boxster and the Boxter S, but in essence this Boxster now carries the 911 5 generation legacy in its DNA.
This isn’t bad at all, but it does mean the Boxster is no longer the entry level Porsche it used to be. That role was replaced by the Porsche Cayman
It’s missing 2 cylinders
Perhaps you knew this. The Boxster of old had a flat 6, naturally aspirated setup. While driving in second gear and keeping your RPM at 2000, it sounded magic, but if you planted your foot, the sound coming from the back upped its game, going from magical to simply heavenly. This 718 Boxster does the same, but doesn’t quite cut it.
It sounds like a beetle with a throaty exhaust at idle, and at high revs, many describe the sound it makes in the following way; “Subaru WRX”
Porsche’s move to a flat 4 turbo was done to improve performance at lower revs, increase fuel economy, and reduce emissions. One thing that has not changed is the throttle responsiveness… blame the sales guy for not letting me get into more details about this.
While I absolutely adore the 718 Boxster S, I cannot say that it lives up to the the original 718 RSK. I would happily settle for a 550 denomination in this instance. I also would not buy one, because I love the earlier generation more. It has more charm and less fuss.
This is undoubtedly a great car, and I would love to spend more time with it, but for now, I guess I will just wait for @Porsche to officially borrow me one.