This is it – the four-cylinder Porsche Boxster. It’s a car we’ve expected for some time, particularly since Porsche introduced downsized, turbocharged flat-six engines across the 911 range.

But now it’s here, and Porsche has revealed official images and details on the new models, now known as the Porsche 718 Boxster and Porsche 718 Boxster S.

Rather than an all-new car, they’re a development of the existing models, granted a few styling tweaks and those new four-pot power units. Porsche is keen to link the car with a spiritual predecessor, in the form of the Porsche 718 – a mid-engined, four-cylinder sports car that achieved some success in racing in the 1960s.

At the heart of the new range is a 2-litre, four-cylinder boxer powerplant, turbocharged to produce 295bhp, or a 34bhp gain over the existing 2.7-litre flat-six. Torque has risen significantly too, with a figure of 280lb ft from 1950-4500rpm – up from 206lb ft at 4500rpm in its naturally-aspirated predecessor.

The 718 Boxster S shows similar gains over the 3.4-litre car it replaces. That car’s 311bhp and 265lb ft of torque climb to 345bhp and 310lb ft thanks to a new 2.5-litre turbocharged flat-four.

Performance from both models is strong. Porsche has only confirmed figures for a car specified with PDK and the Sport Chrono Package, but it’s enough for the 2-litre model to hit 62mph in 4.7sec – eight tenths quicker than before – while the new Boxster S covers the sprint in 4.2sec. Top speeds for the 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S are 170mph and 177mph respectively.

Porsche has enhanced steering directness by 10 per cent and improved its cornering prowess through chassis changes. PASM drops the car’s ride height by 10mm (20mm with the Sport Chassis option), with new settings to better balance response and comfort.

Sport Chrono too has been tweaked, with Normal, Sport and Sport Plus modes and on PDK models, a Sport Response Button for enhanced urge in 20-second bursts.

Visual changes are of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it variety, at least towards the front of the car, despite Porsche’s claims of extensive revisions. Squint, and you’ll perhaps note a slightly wider front profile and new headlights with integrated DRLs – Bi-Xenon as standard, with full LED units optional.

Changes are easier to spot at the back, though may not be to all tastes. First there’s the badge, displaying the full Porsche 718 Boxster script in a size that probably wouldn’t pass Mazda’s gram strategy of universal weight reduction.

Then there’s the dark accent strip on which the Porsche script sits, and the LED ‘three-dimensional’ lights that flank it. We’ll have to see them in the metal to make sure, but on first appearance they look perhaps a little cheap.

The interior hasn’t changed a great deal either, though the changes Porsche has made – an improved Porsche Communication Management infotainment system, and redesigned instrument panel elements – should be easy enough to live with. There’s a hint more 918 Spyder about it too, which should appeal to owners.

Read more at: evo.co.uk

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