The Porsche Boxster has received its most comprehensive facelift yet, gaining a new name, a more aggressive design, and turbocharged, flat-four engines.

The 1997-2004 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. Although it was received with mild criticism and was 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. Twenty years have passed since its debut and the roadster received the most important facelift of its life.

Much like the new 911 Carrera, the Boxster has ditched its naturally aspirated engine in favor of turbocharged units, as part of Porsche’s new strategy to reduce emissions and improve efficiency. More importantly, the said turbo mills use a different, flat-four configuration instead of the traditional flat-six, making the Boxster the first Porsche sports car to use a four-cylinder in several decades. The facelift also brings a name change to the lineup, with the Boxster to be sold as the 718 Boxster from now on.

Although new to the Boxster, the "718" denomination isn’t new to Porsche. The Germans used the same nameplate for a lightweight sports car built between 1957 and 1962. The fact that Porsche decided to revive the name with the Boxster is no coincidence, as the 718 also used four-cylinder engines. On top of that, the original 718 was quite a successful race car, winning the Targa Florio, European Hill Climb championship, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans (class win), so it’s natural for the automaker to want to exploit its motorsport heritage.

The 718 name will also be used for the Cayman once the coupe gets its update, but until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the revamped Boxster in the review below.

Update: 05/21/2016: We’ve made a new video highlighting the Porsche 718 Boxter. Press "play" to check it out.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2016 Porsche Boxster.

  • 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    flat-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    300 @ 6500
  • Torque @ RPM:
    280
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.9 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    170 mph
  • Price:
    56000
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior
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Porsche says that every body panel of the Boxster, except for the luggage compartment lids, the windshield, and the convertible top have been redesigned, hinting that the 718 is more than just a facelift. However, the resculpted body panels are still very similar to the previous model, keeping the 718 recognizable as a Boxster.

Major modifications include a slightly wider front end with a new bumper section.

Major modifications include a slightly wider front end with a new bumper section. The side intakes are now wider and slightly thinner. As a result, the LED daytime running lights, also thinner than the previous model, are no longer integrated into the vents, but mounted as separate pieces. The center grille underneath the license plate has also been reshaped. Another important change is the addition of Porsche’s new bi-xenon headlamps and the optional units with four-point DRLs. The latter are available for the Boxster for the very first time and give the roadster a striking appearance.

From a side view, the 718 doesn’t seem to be that different compared to the Boxster, but some new features catch the eye upon closer inspection. For instance, the wings that define the side intakes are more pronounced and almost run into the front fenders, while the side skirts are beefier. The intakes are also slightly larger, while the doors no longer have handle recess covers. The 718 also gained revised side mirrors and new 19-inch standard wheels. Optionally, customers can order 20-inch rollers.

More changes are noticeable around back, where Porsche redesigned both the taillights and the decklid.

More changes are noticeable around back, where Porsche redesigned both the taillights and the decklid. The new taillights stand out thanks to the brand’s 3D LED technology and four-point brake lights, but the real highlight is the black strip with integrated "Porsche" lettering between them. The "718 Boxster" badge has been moved from the engine lid between the new strip and the bumper. The apron is also new and features a revised diffuser. The mid-mounted exhaust configuration remained unchanged. The base model has a rectangular outlet, while the Boxster S sports a pair of round pipes.

Porsche has yet to release details about exterior colors and other options, but the official photos suggest the roadster will be available in the stunning Lava Orange hue seen on the 911 GT3 RS.

Exterior Dimensions

Height 50.4 Inches
Width (w/ mirrors folded) 70.9 Inches (78.5 Inches)
Wheelbase 97.4 Inches
Length 172.4 Inches
Curb Weight 2,944 LBS

Interior

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Interior
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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Interior
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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Interior
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Inside, the 718 Boxster sports a new dashboard with revised A/C vents and an updated instrument cluster.

Inside, the 718 Boxster sports a new dashboard with revised A/C vents and an updated instrument cluster. Although it remained about the same as far as size and shape go, the steering wheel received new spokes and a new center section. It now looks more upscale and bears a closer resemblance to the one seen in the 911.

Everything else was carried over pretty much unchanged, but Porsche made some updates in the technology department. The standard Porsche Communication Management system features cell phone preparation, audio interfaces, and a 110-watt Sound Package Plus, and it can be enhanced with a navigation module with voice control. Porsche also offers the Connect Plus module for access to a wide array of online services.

Drivetrain

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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This is where Porsche made radical changes to the Boxster by dropping the previous flat-six engine and replacing them with brand-new, flat-four units. The new powerplants were developed with improved performance and efficiency in mind and both the Boxster and Boxster S benefit from significant enhancements in those areas.

The base 718 Boxster received a turbocharged, 2.0-liter producing 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque

The base 718 Boxster received a turbocharged, 2.0-liter producing 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, which is a 35-horsepower and a whopping 74-pound-feet improvement over the previous model. The impressive torque is the result of turbocharging, which is also expected to make the 718 about 14 percent more efficient.

The extra oomph enables the base model to hit 60 mph from a standing start in 4.9 seconds with the manual and 4.7 ticks with the PDK. Adding the Sport Chrono Package takes the benchmark down to 4.5 seconds, making it 0.7-seconds quicker than its predecessor. Top speed has also increased to 170 mph, eight mph more than last year’s Boxster.

Charging from 0 to 60 mph takes four seconds, a half-second quicker than before, while top speed is rated at 177 mph, five mph more than the pre-facelift Boxster S.

Moving over to the Boxster S, its 3.4-liter flat-six has been replaced with a turbocharged, 2.5-liter, flat-four. The new four-banger sends 350 horsepower and 309 pound-feet to the wheels, which accounts for a 35-horsepower and 43-pound-feet improvement over the previous model. Charging from 0 to 60 mph takes 4.4 seconds with the manual and 4.2 ticks with the PDK. When equipped with the Sport Chrono Package, the Boxster S hits 60 mph in four seconds flat, a half-second quicker than before. Top speed is rated at 177 mph, five mph more than the pre-facelift Boxster S.

Just like the previous model, the new Boxster comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while the PDK gearbox is available as an option.

To further improve performance, customers will be able to equip both the Boxster and Boxster S with the optional Sport Chrono Package. Just like in the 911, the bundle now includes the Individual program in addition to the three settings, which are Normal, Sport and Sport Plus. In models equipped with PDK, the Sport Response Button has been added. When activated, it sharpens the responsiveness of the engine and the transmission to enhance acceleration.

Drivetrain Specifications

Porsche 718 Boxster Porsche 718 Boxster S
Cylinder layout / number of cylinders Boxer engine / 4 Boxer engine / 4
Displacement 2.0 liters 2.5 liters
Engine layout Mid-engine Mid-engine
Horsepower 300 HP @ 6,500 RPM 350 HP @ 6,500 RPM
Torque 280 LB-FT 309 LB-FT
Compression ratio 9.5 : 1 9.5 : 1
Top Track Speed 170 MPH 177 MPH
0 - 60 mph 4.9 sec/4.7 sec (4.5 sec w/ Sport Chrono) 4.4 sec/4.2 sec (4.0 sec w/ Sport Chrono)

Suspension

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior
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The facelift also brings an update to the suspension system, which has been recalibrated for great agility. For instance, the electric steering system is now ten percent more direct, while the suspension is stiffer. Optionally, the Boxster can be had with the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), which lowers the roadster’s ride height and offers the perfect balance between ride comfort suitable for long road trips and stiffness necessary for spirited driving. The PASM lowers the ride height by 10mm (0.4 inches) for the 718 Boxster and 20mm (0.8 inches) for the 718 Boxster S.

Prices

Pricing for the new 718 Boxster starts from $56,000, while the 718 Boxster S retails from $68,400, not including the $1,050 destination charge. Compared to the previous models, Porsche added a $3,900 premium to the base model and a $3,500 premium to the S.

Model Price
Porsche 718 Boxster $56,000
Porsche 718 Boxster S $68,400

Competitors

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider High Resolution Exterior
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Newly launched in the U.S., the 4C is Alfa’s first mass-produced car in North America in a very long time, and a strong competitor for Porsche’s Cayman and Boxster. The 4C Spider, which comes with the same unlimited roof feature as the Boxster, sports a turbocharged 1.7-liter, four-cylinder that sends 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque to the wheels through a TCT automatic transmission. But, while it’s not as powerful as the new base-model Boxster, the Italian roadster is nearly as quick to 60 mph, needing only 4.7 seconds to hit the benchmark. Pricing-wise, the 4C Spider is as expensive as a Boxster S, starting from $63,900. Decisions, decisions...

Find out more about the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider here.

2016 Audi TTS Roadster

2016 Audi TT Roadster High Resolution Exterior
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Comparing an Audi to a Porsche and an Alfa Romeo is like comparing apples to oranges and mangos, but the TTS Roadster is quick and sexy enough to give its competitors a run for their money. It might not benefit from the same brand cachet as Porsches and Alfas, but the Audi is a good alternative for at least two reasons. First, it uses a 2.0-liter four-pot rated at 310 horsepower and 280 pound-feet. If you’re a big fan of numbers, you’ll enjoy the fact that the TTS outguns both the base Boxster and the 4C. It’s also pretty quick to 60 mph, covering the distance in 4.9 seconds. Second, it’s more affordable than both the Boxster S and 4C. Pricing is not yet available in the U.S., but given the TTS coupe starts from $51,900, the Roadster shouldn’t cost more than $56,000.

Read more about the Audi TTS Roadster here.

Conclusion

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Exactly 20 years since its introduction, the Porsche Boxster changed rather dramatically. The new turbo-four engines mark the beginning of a new era for Porsche’s entry-level convertible, one that sees flat-four engines return into Stuttgart-built sports cars after many, many years. And, while the prospect of a turbocharged GTS is worrying to GTS fanatics, the new Boxsters will undoubtedly make enthusiasts concerned about hiking gas prices a lot more happy.

  • Leave it
    • * Some enthusiasts will miss the flat-six
    • * Strong competition from Alfa Romeo
    • * GTS model may no longer be naturally aspirated

Updated History

Updated 05/11/2016: Porsche dropped a new video in which it outs the new 718 next to the original 1960-winning 718 RS 60. Hit "play" to watch it.

Updated 04/11/2016: Porsche dropped a new video in which it highlights the everyday usability in its latest 718 Boxster. Hit "play" to watch it!

Updated 02/26/2016: Porsche dropped a new video in which it shows the new 718 Boxster in action at the company’s Experience Center in Silverstone. Hit "play" to watch it.

Updated 02/23/2016: Porsche dropped a new video in which it highlights the design features in the new 718 Boxster. Hit "play" to watch it.

Updated 02/05/2016: Porsche dropped a new video in which it highlights its latest 718 Boxster. Hit "play" to watch it!

Updated 01/27/2016: Porsche dropped the official details and specs on the new 718 Boxster. The model will be put on sale in late June.

Updated 09/28/2015: The guys over Gumbal caught the upcoming Boxster facelift out for a testing session on the Nürburgring and what an amazing exhaust sound it has! Enjoy!

Updated 08/06/2015: Our spy photographers caught the facelifted Boxster testing again, this time completely free of camouflage. This way it gets pretty easy to spot all the changes the new model received: new front and rear fascias, plus updated headlights and taillights. Porsche also enlarged the side air intakes, to feed the new flat-four engine with its 395 horsepower output.

Updated 07/29/2015: British magazine CAR reports that the upcoming Boxster will be offered with a couple of turbocharged, flat-four powerplants.

Video


Spy Shots

August 6, 2015 - Porsche Boxster caught totally free of camouflage

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Interior Spyshots
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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Interior Spyshots
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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Interior Spyshots
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August 3, 2015 - Porsche Boxster caught testing near Stuttgart factory.

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Exterior Spyshots
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July 7, 2014 - First Testing Session

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Exterior Spyshots
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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Exterior Spyshots
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Press Release

Twenty years after the first Boxster made its debut, Porsche is introducing the latest generation of its mid-engine roadsters featuring more power, greater fuel efficiency, and further improved handling. The new models are named 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S, paying homage to the flat-four cylinder engines that were used in the mid-engine Porsche 718 sports car which won numerous races back in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior
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The centerpiece of the latest model range is the newly developed, turbocharged flat four-cylinder engine. The 718 Boxster generates 300 horsepower from two liters of displacement, while the 718 Boxster S uses a 2.5 liter engine developing 350 horsepower. The S-model also employs a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry. The new engines develop 35 more horsepower compared to those of the previous Boxster and are also up to 14 percent more efficient than their predecessors according to the New European Driving Cycle. EPA fuel economy figures will be available at a later date.

The completely retuned suspension and uprated brakes lay the foundation for exceptional performance and driving pleasure. The design of the new model line was also comprehensively improved. Every body part except for the luggage compartment lids, the windshield and the convertible top has been changed. Inside, a newly designed dash panel frames the cockpit. Furthermore, the latest generation of Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with a state-of-the-art touchscreen is included as standard. The navigation module is available as an option.

Efficient and powerful flat-four cylinder engines
A completely new generation of turbocharged flat-four cylinder engines takes performance and efficiency in the 718 Boxster to new heights. Turbocharging significantly boosts torque. The two-liter engine of the 718 Boxster puts out 280 lb.-ft. of torque, which is available from 1,950 rpm to 4,500 rpm. To put this into perspective: The new engine makes 74 lb.-ft. or 36 percent more torque than the previous powertrain and does so over a much broader power band. The 2.5-liter engine of the 718 Boxster S develops 309 lb.-ft. from 1,900 rpm to 4,500 rpm – a 43 lb.-ft. gain over the outgoing Boxster S engine.

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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This yields significant gains in acceleration. The 718 Boxster – when equipped with PDK and the Sport Chrono Package – sprints from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds (0.7 seconds faster than the previous model). The 718 Boxster S outfitted with these performance-enhancing options reaches 60 miles per hour in 4.0 seconds (0.5 seconds faster than its predecessor). The top track speed of the 718 Boxster is 170 miles per hour (8 miles per hour faster than before), and the 718 Boxster S can achieve a top track speed of 177 miles per hour (5 miles per hour faster than previously).

Turbocharging also helps the powertrains of the 718 Boxster and Boxster S to be up to 14 percent more efficient than the previous engines according to the New European Driving Cycle. EPA figures will be available at a later date.

True to their pure, driver focused character, the 718 Boxster models come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. The Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK), which now features fuel-saving virtual gears, is available as an option.

New design emphasizes sharpened profile
The 718 Boxster and Boxster S are immediately recognizable. The front has been resculpted and has a wider, more muscular appearance. Significantly larger cooling air intakes serve as a distinct symbol of the new turbocharged engine generation. Redesigned Bi-Xenon™ headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights are another striking feature. Optionally, LED headlights with four-point daytime running lights are available – a first for the mid-engine roadster.

From a side view, identifying features of the new model line include new, independently styled wings and side sills. Larger air inlet panels with two fins emphasize the car’s dynamic look. The doors are now designed without door handle recess covers. New 19-inch wheels are standard on the 718 Boxster S. 20-inch wheels are optionally available.

The redesigned rear fascia of the 718 Boxster models places a much greater emphasis on width – especially due to the strip with integrated Porsche badge located between the tail lights. The new taillights stand out thanks to three-dimensional LED technology and four-point brake lights.

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Sportier suspension tuning and calibration for greater agility
The outstanding dynamic performance of its namesake served as inspiration to continue to improve upon the exceptional handling of the mid-engine roadster. The 718 Boxster’s completely retuned suspension enhances cornering performance. The electric steering system is 10 percent more direct than previously. This does not only increase agility and precision but also maneuverability, on challenging roads and track as well as in every-day traffic.

Optionally available: Porsche Active Suspension Management
Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is available as an option and includes a ten millimeter lower ride height compared to the standard suspension. For the first time, the PASM Sport Suspension with a 20 millimeter lower ride height is available as an option for the 718 Boxster S. The active suspension, which has also been retuned, offers an even broader spread between ride comfort suitable for long road trips and stiffness necessary for spirited driving.

Sport Chrono Package for particularly engaging driving experience
Just like in the 911, the optional Sport Chrono Package now includes the Individual program in addition to the three settings Normal, Sport and Sport Plus. In models equipped with PDK, the Sport Response Button, which was inspired by motorsports, has been added. It sharpens the responsiveness of the engine and the transmission to promote best possible acceleration.

New Porsche Communication Management as standard
A familiar environment awaits the driver inside the new 718 Boxster, which has been upgraded with new elements such as the instrument panel. Another defining element of the new interior layout is the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with cell phone preparation, audio interfaces and the 110 watt Sound Package Plus. The PCM can be enhanced with a navigation module including voice control. Beyond that, the Connect Plus module is available as an extension of the navigation module, providing a wide array of online services.

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster High Resolution Exterior
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The 718 Boxster and Boxster S go on sale now and will reach U.S. dealers in late June 2016. The 718 Boxster has a starting MSRP of $56,000, and the 718 Boxster S from $68,400, excluding the $1,050 destination charge.

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