The Porsche Boxster was introduced in 1996 as an entry-level, mid-engined sports car . It was Porsche’s first road-going roadster since the 550 Spyder, which was discontinued in 1956, and it didn’t receive an S version until 2000. Although it was received with mild criticism and seen as a departure from Porsche tradition, the Boxster quickly grew on enthusiasts to become the company’s biggest volume seller until the Cayenne SUV was launched in 2003. Initially motivated by a 2.5-liter, flat-six engine, the Boxster started receiving larger, 2.7-liter and 3.2-liter units later in its life. By 2005, a second-generation model had already been introduced and powerplants were upgraded to 2.9-liter and 3.4 liter flat-six mills. The third-gen Boxster (981) arrived for the 2013 model year with extensive visual updates, uprated engines and a brand-new GTS version scheduled for 2015. As we move into the 2016 model year, the Germans are rolling out a mid-cycle refresh for the Boxster, one that follows into the footsteps of the 911 and possibly welcomes an all-new engine to the lineup.
Our spy photographers caught the new Boxster out testing, and let us in on what details they could make out on the new roadster.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Porsche Boxster.
July 7, 2014 - First Testing Session
The first prototypes spotted by our paparazzi reveal that the facelifted Boxster is set to receive updates similar to the 911. No surprises here, as the 2016 Boxster will roll out with a revised front bumper, new LED daytime running lights and a new headlamp configuration.
The more interesting addition, however, might make its way under the car’s rear bonnet in the form of a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. The Germans already confirmed a brand-new four-banger is set to add a different flavor to both the Boxster and the Cayman, but hinted that the new powerplants will join Porsche ranks once the next-generation models arrive at the end of the decade.
Seeing as the 2016 Boxster sports very few exterior changes and coupled with the fact that many test mules have been spotted utilizing four-cylinder engines, it’s only natural to assume that Porsche will use the facelift to launch the four-pot turbo. That will give the Germans plenty of time to develop updates and further reduce CO2 emissions with the next-gen Boxster and Cayman, just in time for the stricter environmental regulations that are looming ahead.
The exact number of ponies generated by these new mills is still a mystery, but word has it both the Boxter and the Cayman could benefit from as much as 395 horsepower. That’s a significant increase from the current 3.4-liter, six-cylinder that’s good for 330 horses.
Around since 2009, the current BMW Z4 is long overdue for a redesign that’s set to arrive just in time for the facelifted Boxster. In the mean time, the 2014 model year Z4 is offered in three guises in the United States, with output ranging from 240 horsepower to 335 ponies. At the bottom of the Z4 lineup sits the sDrive28i, which motivates itself by means of a 2.0-liter, inline-four engine rated at 240 horsepower.
Moving up into the range, customers will be able to select the sDrive35i trim. The mid-ranger carries a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder mill under its long hood and benefits from 300 horsepower. Those in need of more power can go for the sDrive35is, where "s" translates into an extra 35 ponies for a final output of 335 horses. While the latter returns only 24 mpg on the highway, the base model promises to deliver a range of 33 mpg in the same environment. Pricing starts from $48,950 and goes all the way up into $66,000 territory with the sDrive35is and a few options on top.
Gallery BMW Z4
A tad newer than the Z4, the SLK-Class has already received a mild refresh for 2014. Three version are available Stateside, beginning with the SLK250. Powered by a 1.8-liter, inline-four, the entry-level roadster comes with 201 turbocharged horses and a 0-to-60 mph sprint time of 6.5 seconds. An update to the SLK350 will bring customers a 3.5-liter V-6 under the hood, 302 horsepower to the wheels and a naught-to-60 mph sprint of only 5.4 seconds.
As with most Mercedes-Benz cars, the SLK is also delivered in a more powerful AMG package. Dubbed SLK55 AMG, the range-topping convertible hits the streets with a large, 5.5-liter V-8 tucked behind its aggressive nose and 415 horsepower on tap. The AMG-tweaked SLK is even faster from 0 to 60 mph, needing only 4.5 seconds to reach that speed. Pricing for this German sports car begins at $43,525 and reached more than $68,925 with an AMG badge on the front fenders.