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