If you love the way Porsches handle, you need to give it up for Eberhard Armbrust, the sixty-something engineer who has been with the company’s vehicle dynamics division for over 40 years. Everything that you love about the handling of the 911 Cayman, Boxstercan be credited to this guy.
Armbrust’s involvement with the all-new 718 Boxster is undeniable since this vehicle performs seamlessly on road and at the track. Porsche decided to borrow the 718 prefix from their highly successful mid-engine race cars from the 1950s.
The engineers have borrowed the base structure of the platform from the original 718, although, latest ground-breaking engineering and the use of sheet-metal gives the vehicle a low-slung look and feel.
However, the most interesting fact about the 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster is the downsized engine, which now sports four-cylinders instead of the usual six. However, before you go all judgmental on Porsche for the move, keep in mind that Porsche has a history with four-cylinder engines. The first vehicle out of their stables, the 356 had a four-cylinder engine and so did the 911, 924, 944 and the 968.
The new B4 engine block still boasts of the Boxer design and is turbo charged.The 2.0-liter block displaces 300 BHP and 280 ft-lb of torque,up from 265 BHP and 310 ft-lb displaced by the previous-generation 2.7-liter six-cylinder block.
Peak torque kicks in between 1,900 and 4,500 RPM now,which gives the driver better torque gains at low RPM marks. Porsche has not forgotten to maintain the engine’s peak rev range, which is near the 6,500 RPM mark and continues till the 7,500 RPM redline mark.
Hence, the 2017 718 Boxster feels the torque at all RPMs. The loss of power due to the removal of two cylinders was overcome by the addition of a turbocharger.Front/rear weight distribution is still at 45/55 percent, which results in the iconic handling of the vehicles and help maintain launch traction.
Porsche has also paid special attention to the suspension and tires in that regard. In terms of hardware, the Porsche 718 Boxster boasts of re-calibrated springs, roll bars, dampers, quicker steering from the 911 Turbo, Monobloc front brake caliper from the 911 andrear chassis brace from the Cayman GT4.
If you are a speed freak, Porsche has added a Sport mode to the Sport Chrono package,which allows some serious drifting, but steps in if you mess up. Variable suspension is standard on all variants of the 718 Boxster, which drops the ride height by 20 mm and turns the dampers stiffer in Sport Mode for optimum performance.
Porsche has also upgraded the Management System on the Boxster along with the satellite navigation.The designers have also added a new steering wheel design along with new wheels that are inspired from the 918 Spyder.
Even though the four-cylinder 718 Boxster is quick, it does not sound as great as its six-cylinder predecessor. The 718 Boxster can be compared to the Subaru WRX STi, since that is the only vehicle to use a four-cylinder 2.5-liter Boxer engine at the moment.
The vehicle handles like a charm around corners and the PSM technology does the magic. Even though you can drift around in the 718, it never feels unstable or out of control. Porsche is expected to bring the 2017 718 Boxster to the showroom by late summer,although, the company is yet to come up with an official statement.