Performance, ride and handling

When it comes to engines, the base Boxster reverts back to a 2,7-litre unit from the 2893cc flat-six in the previous model. Despite its smaller displacement though, the newer unit makes 265bhp, 10bhp than the previous model’s motor. The Boxster S tested here, sticks to a 3436cc DFI Direct Fuel Injection flat-six but with the newer model’s unit making 5bhp more than previously, making the 3.4-litre unit’s horsepower count totaling 315bhp at 6700rpm. When it comes to torque output, the newer Boxster S offers the same 360Nm as with the old model’s but available at a slightly wider rev range than previously – 4500 to 5800rpm versus the old car’s 4400 to 5500rpm.

With just 5bhp more than before, you would expect the new Boxster S to be not significantly quicker or better performing than its predecessor. The new model’s 5 seconds (4.8 with the Sport Chrono set to Sport +) 0-100km/h time is just 0.2 seconds quicker than the 5.2 seconds its predecessor posts. This slight gain in performance is due more to factors like the new model’s 30kg lighter weight rather than the additional horsepower count.

Despite the modest performance gains on paper, the new Boxster S does feel like it offers noticeably better performance than before on the road thanks to the motor’s slightly more tractable and flexible nature. While the previous model can feel a tad lazy at low to medium engine speeds, the new Boxster S feels livelier straight from the off, which is really surprising considering that peak torque hasn’t changed from the old car’s 360Nm. The newly found flexibility could be due to modifications to the flat-six’s intake system that is said to improve low to medium speed torque overall.

Besides offering more performance, the new model’s motor is also more fuel efficient thanks to new features like electrical system recuperation, thermal management as well as coasting for models fitted with the PDK transmission. Compared to the previous Boxster S, the new model fitted with PDK drinks up to 1 litre less for every 100km travelled.

Like in the recent 991 generation 911, Porsche’s PDK dual clutch gearbox has been further improved and optimized in the latest Boxster models. The gear changes are even quicker and crisper than before. Comfort levels and smoothness have also improved at lower speeds, with the gearbox now less likely getting caught at the wrong gear at slow, crawling speeds.

PDK is not all perfect though. The box’s new coasting function might save fuel but it dampens response a tad in automatic mode as it’ll take a moment or two before a gear hooks up once again when coasting down to a slower speed. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen when the box is switched to manual mode.

Another constant, major gripe are the gearshift buttons/paddles on the steering wheel. In Porsches with PDK, you push the button down on either side of the wheel to shift up and pull the paddles to shift down. In most other cars though, the right paddle/button is for up shift, the left for a lower gear. It makes Porsche’s layout rather unintuitive. Also to nitpick about is when selecting gears manually via the gear lever. While in most race cars and even in road going BMWs and Mazdas, you pull the lever towards you for an up shift, forwards for a down shift, Porsche follows the VW style – the less intuitive forward for up shift, back for down shift. Guess it runs in the family then. Thankfully, Porsche offers an optional steering wheel with proper gearshift paddles. This optional feature might set you back a couple of grand more to your final Boxster S buying price but I’m pretty sure that it’ll be worth every penny.

As with the previous generation models, one of the best aspects of the Boxster driving experience is listening to that intoxicating mechanical symphony of the flat-6 working away at the back of your head.

With the new model, Porsche claims that the Boxster is more dynamic than ever before. It claims that the new Boxster S laps the revered Nurburgring Nordschleife 12 seconds quicker than its predecessor. True to Porsche’s claims, the new model does feel more agile and dynamic on the road than the car it replaces – it feels eager to swap directions while the chassis seem to generate reserves of grip even when cornering hard. Just like the 991 generation 911, the Boxster range utilizes a new electro-mechanical steering system that somehow manages to retain the positive attributes of the old car’s hydraulic power steering system, which means the helm is superbly weighted and relays high levels of feel and feedback to the driver’s palms. Features that also contribute to its improved dynamics include the wider track and longer wheelbase as well as the completely redesigned chassis.

Admittedly, the fixed roof Cayman still feels a tad sharper than the roofless Boxster in the corners and is even more focused as a driving machine but you still feel that direct connection with the asphalt in the Boxster, giving you the confidence to drive it hard.

Just like the 991, the new Boxster’s ride is quieter and more refined than in its predecessor, giving it a more mature and sophisticated feel overall.

 


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Engine

Engine Capacity 3436cc
Engine Type Flat 6
Compression Ratio 12.5:1
Power 315bhp @ 6700rpm
Torque 360Nm @ 4500rpm
Power to Weight 233.3 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 4.8s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 277 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 12.5 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK)
Drive Type MR

Measurements

Body Type Cabriolet
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4374 x 1801 x 1281) mm
Wheelbase 247 mm
Kerb Weight 1350 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 64 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs