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Porsche 718 – All about the Boxster

Porsche’s most affordable and dynamically capable mid-engined convertible received a new look and smaller engine in 2017. It is, in a way, sad that the flat-six engines are now a thing of the past with the Cayman and the Boxster. But the German sports car brand is aiming more at fuel economy and emissions. Also, the Indian market does not get the Boxster S; we just get the Boxster with a 2.0-litre engine. But you’d be surprised to know the 2.0-litre flat-four unit produces 295bhp and 380Nm of torque. The car’s suspension has been tweaked; so has the steering and of course, the exterior.

That signature silhouette

The silhouette of the Porsche 718 Boxster remains the same, except for the bonnet, the fabric roof, the windscreens and the front bumper and headlights. The new bi-xenon headlamps along with their four-point LED DRLs and big air intake on the front bumper on the Porsche 718 Boxster will help separate the old 981 from this. Move to the back and you will spot mildly smoked-out LED lights with their four-point brake lamps looking nice and it somehow seems a bit wider at the back with the black strip running in between the tail lamps. The Porsche 718 Boxster is loved for its compact design and that’s one of its USPs.

Sit low

Once you’re seated inside, you sit low, but visibility out-front is good. The cabin has received a few updates by Porsche Cars, so you get new AC vents, a new steering wheel and a touchscreen that comes standard. If you want sportier seats, you’ll have to fork out more. The driver’s seat gets electric adjustment, not the passenger’s. Shockingly, with the space saver placed behind the passenger seat, you can hardly move the seat, making it rather impractical. However, the luggage space under the frunk proves to be quite useful.

Sweet flat-four

Porsche 718 About the Engine

Initially, we were not particularly impressed with what Porsche Cars did by downsizing the engine; the idle isn’t smooth and it clatters a bit a slow speeds. But, start hammering it and you’re instantly sent back into your seat as it accelerates from 0-100kph in 4.9 seconds. The turbo in the engine makes it faster than the car it replaces. There is some turbo lag initially after which you get a sudden burst of thrust from low down in the rev range till about 7500rpm. The 718 sounds different from the 981 as well; it pops and crackles on the overrun. On the handling front, the steering gives its driver a good connection with the front wheels.

There is no car at this price point that puts you in the driver’s seat in the way this car does; it’s simply fantastic. Even corners are dealt with easily; the amount of grip offered is impressive and the brakes are nicely calibrated. Ride quality is acceptably good; so is ground clearance. It’s an everyday sports car that you can have immense fun with on a track too. The 7-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission is a work of art as it ensures you’re in the powerband at all times. It’s also responsive and shifts quickly.

The verdict

There may be many who’d be put off by the 718’s four-cylinder engine, but we can confirm that the Boxster remains an excellent sports car for the money, powered by a petite by powerful engine. Nothing has changed the fact that it’s fast, sharp to drive and great to look at, but sticklers for the naturally-aspirated flat-six will find reasons to nitpick. Its smaller engine also qualifies for tax breaks on imported cars with an engine below the 3000cc range, making it that bit more affordable than the 981 Boxster.

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