• Here’s the Evolution of the Porsche Boxster and How It Saved Porsche In the Early 1990s

This dynamic infographic will teach you everything you need to know about the Porsche Boxster

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Porsche may be a successful company right now, but it had it’s fair share of financial difficulties in the past. The early 1990s were pretty rough for the Germans, as sales had dropped from more than 50,000 units a year in 1986 to only 14,000 examples in 1993. Porsche had to do something about it and a new 911 model wasn’t enough. So the German company started exploring other possibilities, including a replacement for the front-engined, entry-level line that previously included the 924, 944, and 968. Some say that Porsche looked to the success Mazda was having with the Miata and opted to design a new mid-engined roadster inspired by the iconic 550 Spyder of the 1950s. It was dubbed the Boxster, it was cheaper than the 911 but still fast and powerful, and it saved Porsche from bankruptcy. The folks over at Car Evolution just posted a cool video that show how this nameplate evolved in almost 25 years on the market.

Here's the Evolution of the Porsche Boxster and How It Saved Porsche In the Early 1990s
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The four-minute video showcases the main events in the Boxster’s life, including redesigns, facelifts, and the addition of new models to the lineup. Each model is showcased with all the important specs, as well as the key upgrades over the previous model. It’s a cool perspective to have them displayed one after the other, as we can notice the Boxster’s evolution in terms of design, engines, power, performance, and curb weight. It’s also a cool timeline for when Porsche decided to add models like the Cayman, the GT4, and the Spyder.

Engine-wise, the Boxster went through big changes.

It started out with a 2.5-liter flat-six that evolved into a 3.4-liter unit 20 years later.

Porsche also used the larger 3.8- and even the 4.0-liter from the 911 in the GT4, but 2017 brought a big change in which the naturally aspirated flat-six was dropped in favor of a turbocharged flat-four. Each model showcases is backed by the engine’s soundtrack and you’ll notice that the flat-four doesn’t sound all that bad compared to the flat-six.

2020 Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder drivetrain specifications
Engine layout Mid-engine
Design and cylinders Naturally aspirated boxer 6
Bore 102.0 mm
Stroke 81.5 mm
Displacement 4.0 l
Max. power 414 hp
Max. power at rpm 7,600 rpm
Max. engine speed 8,000 rpm
Max. torque 309 lb-ft
Max. torque at rpm 5,000 - 6,800 rpm
Compression ratio 13 : 1
Max. power per liter 103.5 hp/l
Power-to-weight ratio 7.8 lb/hp
Cooling Water-cooled
Top track speed 187 mph
0 - 60 mph 4.2 s
Here's the Evolution of the Porsche Boxster and How It Saved Porsche In the Early 1990s
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This video is also a good indication of how much the Boxster has evolved in terms of performance.

Back in 1996, it was unveiled with 201 horsepower, while the 2020 Cayman GT4 comes with 414 horses on tap.

That’s twice as much and then some. Likewise, while the first Boxster needed more than six seconds to hit 60 mph, the modern GT4 and Spyder models get there in less than four. On the flipside, we can also notice how cars become heavier due to modern tech and driving assist features. The original Boxster tipped the scales at 2,760 pounds, while the fourth-gen model is 220 pounds heavier. The Cayman GTS and GT4 are even heavier, both tipping the scales at more than 3,000 pounds.

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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