New Porsche 718 Boxster: 10 Things You Need To Know

The next-generation 718 Boxster we've been waiting for

Lighter, Faster and a More Confident Design, Porsche’s Entry-Level Convertible Roadster Finally Fits In with the Family

Austin, TX – Sure, vehicles progress over the years but the new Porsche Boxster is almost unrecognizable compared the somewhat prosiac model we first got 20 years ago.

Not that there was anything wrong with the Porsche’s entry-level sports coupe (prior to the Cayman’s arrival), but the Boxster had so much more potential, and sitting next to its siblings like the 911 in the family portrait, it just didn’t really fit in.

That’s all changed. Big time. Released all-new for 2017, the next-generation 718 Boxster, along with the 718 Cayman, have grown up, closing the gap between Porsche’s other offerings in terms of exterior styling, performance, and handling.

So less it’s-just-my-second-car and more see-you-later-I’m-hitting-the-track. 

And for 2018, the two models now come in more powerful GTS flavours.

Overall, Porsche’s latest models find new turbo engines, an enhanced chassis, and sportier (improved) design.

porsche 718 boxster review amee reehal
Pic: Amee Reehal

Here are 10 New Porsche 718 Boxster Features of Note:

There’s a great deal that’s new to the next-generation Boxster, especially in terms of performance and handling – from improved torque, chassis changes, and other small yet significant improvements. But we’ll just break it down to the essentials, touching on what’s important for most new car buyers. Here’s what you need to know:

1. New 718 Moniker

Both the Boxster and Cayman now get the 718 prefix to their names: 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman. These aren’t trim levels; it’s the new name, so get it right. What’s the significance of this? Basically, 718 holds a special place in Porsche history dating back to the 1950s.

We won’t bust out the history books here but it begins with the 728 which was one of most successful early race cars by Porsche. Our new models here pay homage to these classics which share flat four cylinder engines with the new 718 models.

porsche 718 boxster review amee reehal
Pic: Amee Reehal

2. Reintroducing Turbo Flat-Four Cylinder Engines

Perhaps the most significant update is the new powertrain. The new 718 Boxster now gets a turbocharged flat-four cylinder engine, which is big deal considering Porsche hasn’t employed 4-bangers since production of the 912 E ended 40 years ago.

The German knows a thing or two about flat-fours and turbocharging, combining the two on display in the new 718 Boxster while offering engine responsiveness that’s comparable to a naturally-aspirated setup.

718 Boxster vs 718 Boxster S Engines

Smaller but much more efficient, the new engine produces 74 lb.-ft. or 36 percent more torque than the previous powertrain. The Boxster’s 2.0L engine puts out 280 lb.-ft. of torque, making 300-hp.

The 718 Boxster S now offers a 43 lb.-ft. gain over the outgoing Boxster S via the 2.5L engine, putting down 350-hp and 309 lb.-ft. from 1,900 rpm to 4,500 rpm.

3. 6-speed Manual Transmission & 7-speed PDK

Reinforced with new components and a stronger clutch (to handle the increased torque of the new turbo engines) the new 718 Boxster gets a good old 6-speed manual stick shift as standard.

If manual isn’t your thing, the PDK (automatic) transmission is optional which features the enhanced Auto Start/Stop function shutting off the engine when the car is coasting to a stop.

Porsche 718 Boxster review amee reehal
Reinforced with new components and a stronger clutch (to handle the increased torque of the new turbo engines) the new 718 Boxster gets a good old 6-speed manual stick shift as standard. Pic: Amee Reehal

4. Ramped Up Exhaust Systems

Hope you like the sound of those Porsche-typical exhaust notes. As I drove around the streets of Austin along with pal Brian Makse from VVUZZ.com, including the highways on the city outskirts, the newly developed exhaust system made its presence known.

(You should also check out this: Sweet Sounds: The Porsche 911 GT3 Bluetooth Speaker for the Man Cave)

Without getting technical (sorry to those technical Porsche fanatics), the new exhaust essentially reconfigured how the gases move about – the single exhaust tract now runs past the engine and then branches into two pipes in front of the transmission. Like on the previous model, these run past the transmission to the two rear mufflers.

We just know the new Boxster sounds awesome. And it works.

The German knows a thing or two about flat-fours and turbocharging, combining the two on display in the new 718 Boxster while offering engine responsiveness that’s comparable to a naturally-aspirated setup.

5. Optimized Sport Chrono Package

Porsche owners who opt for the Sport Chrono Package are all too familiar with this upgrade which enables the driver to configure the drivetrain to deliver maximum responsiveness and acceleration at the push of a button.

The new 718 Boxster, along with the new Porsche 911, now includes the Individual mode in addition to the three settings Normal, Sport and Sport Plus as part of the setup; all steering wheel mounted now.

porsche 718 boxster review
Perhaps the more significant styling changes, along with the suspension, are found at the 718 Boxster’s rear which now gets a wider design via spread out rear fenders paired to a refined rear wing. Pic: Amee Reehal

6. New Suspension System

Porsche completely reworked the suspension and footwork, particularly in the rear.

We tested many Boxsters over the years, and diving into curvy roads was never an issue. But it was clear the 2017 Porsche Boxster S we drove here was absolutely redesigned for enhanced driving dynamics, especially to handle the track.

The majority of the rear suspension components have been modified; the shock absorbers with larger pistons improve wheel guidance due to their greater rigidity, while a new cross member strengthens the rear subframe, significantly enhancing lateral rigidity.

Also, the back wheels grow half an inch wider compared to the outgoing model for a more planted feel paired to new tires offering better performance, especially for wet conditions.

porsche 718 Boxster review
The new base model 718 Boxster now receive the brake system from its outgoing Boxster S sibling, with brakes growing 0.6 inch (15 millimeter) compared to the previous model. While the 2017 911 Carrera lends the 718 Boxster S new four-piston calipers and thicker brake rotors from the Carrera’s front axle. Pic: Amee Reehal

7. Enhanced Footwork & Brake System

In the braking department, Porsche’s new 718 Boxster gets some love from the family.

The new base model 718 Boxster now receive the brake system from its outgoing Boxster S sibling, with brakes growing 0.6 inch (15 millimeter) compared to the previous model. While the 2017 911 Carrera lends the 718 Boxster S new four-piston calipers and thicker brake rotors from the Carrera’s front axle.

Also standard now is the multi-collision braking system designed to prevent secondary collision damage by automatically braking after an initial collision triggering an airbag deployment.

8. Improved Driving Dynamics & Handling

Most of the above inevitably improves the new Boxster’s on-road abilities. But there’s more to know including new tuning and calibration compared to the outgoing model.

The 718 Boxster models now feature a four-point drivetrain mount, compared to the three-point mount of the previous generation. The engine now has two switchable and vacuum-controlled engine mounts in comparison with the central engine mount of the previous model.

porsche 718 boxster review amee reehal
The 718 Boxster S, as seen here, finds a completely retuned chassis; and for S models equipped with all performance-enhancing options, this rocket will complete the Nürburgring’s North Loop 16-seconds quicker than the 2016 Porsche Boxster S – so now you’re a little closer to a Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder. Pic: Amee Reehal

The 718 Boxster S, as seen here, finds a completely retuned chassis; and for S models equipped with all performance-enhancing options, this rocket will complete the Nürburgring’s North Loop 16-seconds quicker than the 2016 Porsche Boxster S – so now you’re a little closer to a Cayman GT4 and Boxster Spyder.

9. New 718 Boxster Interior

The cockpit of the new roadster is all restyled. The lid of the centre console has been raised slightly compared to the previous model to offer more comfort, while the upper portion of the new dash panel follows through on the exterior’s three-dimensional look.

The driver now gets an almost 15-inch in diameter 918 Spyder steering wheel in their hands, with the 14.1-inch GT Sport wheel as an upgrade.

Front and centre is Porsche’s PCM system with a high-res 7-inch touchscreen next to a pair of SD card readers and single CD/DVD drive if you’re still stuck in the 1990s. Sound duties come from a 110-watt system including 11 GB jukebox; or opt for something from Burmester or Bose as optional.

Of course, there’s all new tech you’d expect, including Apple CarPlay and Porsche Car Connect.

porsche 718 boxster review amee reehal
The driver now gets an almost 15-inch in diameter 918 Spyder steering wheel in their hands, with the 14.1-inch GT Sport wheel as an upgrade. Pic: Amee Reehal

10. New Bold Design

Save the best for last? Depends how you look at it, and how a mid-engine roadster fits into your lifestyle. However you ever you chalk it up, the new 718 Boxster looks as good as it performs. And from a distance, you may even now mistake it for a 911 – something we wouldn’t have imagined ever happening.

Overall, the car gets a bolder yet sleeker design that exudes sportiness and way more character that what we’ve been familiar with the past two decades; shorter overhangs, bigger wheels, and more narrow tire gaps add much needed confidence to the new roadster.

As seen here, the 718 Boxster S sits on 19-inch wheels as standard, with 20-inch as optional. Gone are the recess-covered door handles for a more streamlined appearance; plus, add new independently styled fenders and side skirts to the mix.

New Front End

Porsche reworked the new Boxster’s front end with a wider, flatter design employing more narrow front lights which now sit above the out cooling air intakes. Paired to the lower sitting nose, the car now hugs the road a little better. And bigger cooling air intakes remind you there’s a turbocharged engine sitting inside.

porsche 718 boxster review amee reehal
Porsche reworked the new Boxster’s front end with a wider, flatter design employing more narrow front lights which now sit above the out cooling air intakes. Paired to the lower sitting nose, the car now hugs the road a little better. And bigger cooling air intakes remind you there’s a turbocharged engine sitting inside. Pic: Amee Reehal

New Rear End

Perhaps the more significant styling changes, along with the suspension, are found at the 718 Boxster’s rear which now gets a wider design via spread out rear fenders paired to a refined rear wing.

The four-point brake lights and new taillights which see an integrated Porsche badge located between them, rounds out the redesigned rear fascia.

What didn’t change

If you don’t like change (what’s wrong with you?), you’ll be happy to know the windshield, convertible top, and both front and rear luggage compartments lids were unchanged. So really, the stuff that doesn’t matter to most of us. Unless you were really hoping for terrific cargo space for your new Porsche 2-seater.

porsche 718 boxster review amee reehal
Pic: Amee Reehal

Conclusions…

There you have it. The new 718 Porsche Boxster and 718 Cayman both arrived for 2017. And for 2018, the combo add 718 Boxster GTS / 718 Cayman GTS to the mix for added power and more exclusive design.

Finally, two decades later, the new Boxster matures into the the coupe we knew it could become – lighter, faster, bolder-looking, and overall more inline with the rest of the Porsche family.

718 Boxster Pricing & Specs

In the US, the new Boxster starts at US$57,400, and at C$65,100 in Canada.

To learn more about pricing, specs, etc. visit: 718 Boxster – USA | 718 Boxster – Canada

718 Boxster S and 718 Cayman S Gallery:

Photos © Amee Reehal

Shooting motors professionally since film was a thing, Amee's work has been published in various outlets including NBC Sports, Chicago Tribune, SuperStreet, GlobeDrive, MotorTrend, and others. He's a writer, editor at TractionLife.com, AJAC member, and full-time digital marketer at Traction Media working with national brands. Find him traveling, spending time with his kids and family. Or golfing, badly.