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2016 Porsche 718 Boxster

It is hard to believe the Porsche Boxster is already 20 years old, but it is, and in that time Porsche reckons it has stood for timeless roadster design with two seats, a clearly defined mid-engine concept and a classic soft top. Now, with the release of the new 718 Boxster, Porsche has moved to emphasise this strength of character with even sharper design cues, a more precise appearance and more muscular styling. Larger wheels, short overhangs and a tougher appearance have really muscled up the new Boxster.

The new 718 Boxster S is two hot laps around a banked proving ground circuit in the south of France, a straight-line demonstration of the launch control system, and a three-lap blast around a wet racetrack designed to best illustrate the capability of the PASM system.

On the dry track, the intrinsic balance of the Boxster chassis is immediately visible. Tipping the nose into the long banked corner at 200km+ and holding 230km/h through the turn, the Boxster is rock solid stable and there isn’t even a hint of noise from the Pirelli tyres. I can’t believe the capability of the tyres, given they are road hoops at road pressure.

Along with new engines, more power and torque and higher outright performance figures, Porsche has also improved the driving dynamics of the new 718 Boxster and Boxster S.

According to Porsche, “completely new chassis tuning improves cornering performance”. Porsche is therefore expecting the new 718 Boxster S to be a full 16 seconds faster around the Nurburgring than the previous model. The Boxster has always been about razor sharp driving dynamics and this new model looks set to step forward significantly in that area.

The base model is 5kg heavier than the old model, while the S is 15kg heavier. The engine unit is 8.1kg lighter, but the added weight comes mainly from the braking system and the strengthening required for the upgraded power.

When the Boxster is idling, the mounts decouple to isolate vibration and keep the cabin as calm as possible, but while driving, they switch over to a stiffer connection to minimise weight shift and movement of the engine’s mass. Opt for the Sport Chrono Package and you also get advanced dynamic transmission mounts, which further tighten the performance driving feel.

The rear suspension has been retuned with a new lateral member, which strengthens the rear subframe, and improves lateral rigidity. New shock absorbers feature larger piston and cylinder tube diameters to improve precision of the wheel through its arc of travel. The rear wheels are also 0.5-inches wider, which allow the fitment of wider tyres and deliver increased cornering stability.

Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2016

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