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Marhaba Motoring Review: A Closer Look at the All-New Porsche 718 Boxster

From afar, it looks like the same little bundle of joy I remember when driving my Boxster S a few years ago. But – look more closely – so many subtle changes: new air intakes side and front (more cooling for hotter performance), new dynamic four-spot LED lights front and rear (better visibility and more eye-catching appeal); the amazing sleek silhouette of the fully automatic retractable fabric hood (opens or shuts in only 9 secs and up to 50 kph); and completing the typical Porsche powerful rear view is the eye-catching appeal of the twin chrome tailpipes which emit the ear-catching roar – sometimes a growl rising to a howl – of the mid-mounted turbocharged powerplant.

The 718 Boxster (and Cayman) are the entry level Porsches; they are the most affordable models that attract the most new buyers and get them hooked, even addicted, to the allure of owning a Porsche. Now in its third generation the latest 718 Boxster has undergone the biggest update in its twenty-year history. At the heart of this radical overhaul is the adoption of the turbocharged four-cylinder engines. And there are significant upgrades in power delivery, steering, suspension and brakes.

Although the new 718 Boxster looks so similar to its predecessor, almost every panel is new.

The beautifully finished and well-laid out luxury interior also looks pretty much the same as its predecessor. But, significantly, the cabin has been enhanced by the latest user-friendly touchscreen infotainment system, and there’s a very nice new three-spoke steering wheel ‘borrowed’ from the 911.

However, sit inside, get in gear and you’ll realise that while some Porsche things never change, they can always be improved. Porsche has worked its magic again, and you will enjoy it!

The mid-engined layout, the agility, the light weight, the power and weight distribution, the increased torque and speed, all combine to create a punchy and perfectly balanced driving machine. I drove the basic 718 Boxster but, if you like g-forces, it was more exciting, more rewarding, more grippy than the previous ‘S’ model. Most cars don’t, can’t give you this sound, this music to enhance your driving pleasure. And of course your own music is now heard through the fantastic sound system operated by the very modern and easy-to-use touchscreen interface.

If you want even more spice on your sensory delights, you can always choose the hotter ‘S’ models.

I want to tell you more, but so many factors are there to consider – the look, the shape, the feel, the sound. Even the brochure is not just a brochure, or even a catalogue; it’s a book, a proper hard-back book…

So my best advice is just to get down to the Porsche Centre to see it for yourself and ask for – beg even – a test drive. There’s a good chance, like me, you’ll be converted.

TECH SPEC MOTORING DOHA QATAR

Engine: New 2.0 litre four turbocharged horizontally opposed cylinders with direct fuel injection (DFI) and VarioCam Plus (also available 2.5 litre in Boxster S)

Max Power: 300 hp (220 kW) @ 6,500 rpm

Max Torque: 380 Nm @ 1,950—4,500 rpm

Max Speed: 275 kph (80—120 kph in 3.2 secs)

Acceleration: 0—100 kph in 4.9 secs

Transmission Rear-wheel drive with super-smooth and efficient PDK 7-speed gearbox

Exterior Low, wide and sleek, the 718 ushers in a new era for the Boxster (and Cayman); sporty, distinctive lines; unmistakeable Porsche wings, higher than the hood, expose naked headlights; four-spot LED daytime running lights, now a Porsche trademark; larger air intakes; at the rear, new slimline taillights with four LED stoplights accentuate the horizontal contouring of the rear, making the rear end look even wider; wing extends automatically at 120 kph to provide even better roadholding performance

Interior Everything is within easy reach, and designed exclusively to suit the driver; high quality seven-inch multi-touchscreen, multi-function steering wheel with mode switch for fastest possible unleashing of power; highest quality materials

Safety/Security Every system – suspension, chassis, cabin and power delivery is engineered to enhance performance and driver satisfaction, and at the same time to strengthen the active and passive safety capabilities of an awesome driving machine

Get To Know More

The staff at Porsche Centre (Al Boraq Auto) on Airport Street will be pleased to show you everything and even arrange a test drive of the latest 718 Boxster or any of its sports cars and sports SUVs for Marhaba followers. The number is 4459 9666 and click here to visit the website.  

Author: Terry Sutcliffe

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Hamad Bin Khalifa University HBKU
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