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718 Boxster S – First Drive

September 10, 2016 | Ottawa, ON, Canada

Porsche has gone to great lengths to re-brand the Boxster/Cayman platform the ‘718’ in conjunction with the transition from the glorious naturally aspirated flat sixes to the responsive turbo flat fours.

DreamFleet had the opportunity to experience the redesigned Boxster S both on the road and skid pad during the Ottawa stop of Porsche’s 718 Boxster Grand Tour. Here are our thoughts on the transition.

Hard to think the 981 platform could be improved upon, but it has in subtle but real ways. The physical design is even more resolved, fuel consumption bettered, but more importantly, handling and power dynamics have improved. The big change is more torque, lower in the powerband. The big question on everyone’s mind is which is better; the near perfect 981 or the 718 evolution?

Difficult question as their character is remarkably different. Gone is the glorious wail of the flat six as it climbs towards its red line, only really coming into its own above 4,500 rpm; replaced by a growly exhaust note and entertaining downshift crackles, with generous power available at low RPMs. Its kind of like moving from Porsche’s slick shifting manual transmission to the PDK; the manual is more engaging but the PDK is an overall better driving instrument.


I get the progress made with the 718, but I still need a fix of that flat six wail from time to time!