2016 Porsche 718 Boxster S passenger ride

Ahead of its official launch, we get an early ride and technical overview of the Porsche 718 Boxster S. Can a turbo flat four really replace a howling flat six? To call the new 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S a facelift is selling it more than a little short. Although it may only appear to be wearing a slightly sharper suit, there’s a revolution underneath its engine cover.Like the most recent changes to the evergreen 911, the Boxster now comes with a downsized (or rightsized if you listen to Porsche) turbocharged engine. Not only is it a smaller capacity, it’s also down two cylinders compared with the previous generation.Both the Boxster and Boxster S have a horizontally opposed four pot, the former coming in at 2.0-litres with the latter a meatier 2.5. Both share the same stroke with the size increase coming from a bigger bore to the cylinders.If that wasn’t enough, the S variant also gains a bigger turbocharger with variable vane technology as seen in the full-fat 911 Turbo. This means that the 2.0-litre has an output of 296bhp with the 2.5 upping this to 345bhp. As you’d expect, emissions and economy are also improved.Despite the forced induction, both engines can rev round to 7500rpm although peak power is achieved 1000rpm lower. The real story is with the massive increase in torque that comes with turbocharging. Not only is there more twist, it also arrives much lower in the rev range.To help cope with the increased forces, the gearboxes have been beefed up and ratios adjusted for the PDK. The suspension has also been tweaked with new dampers, revised spring rates and increased bracing to improve response.Add in a revised interior with the latest Porsche Communication Management infotainment system, smoother acting stability control and more powerful brakes, and you can see how much work the German carmaker has done.
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