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2018 porsche 718 Boxster

Before Porsche began building SUVs and sedans, the German automaker's sole raison d'être was creating sports cars; pure, lightweight rides that forged a bond between man and machine through tactile steering and nimble chassis dynamics.

Today, the 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S roadsters stand as the embodiment of Porsche's core sports car philosophy. Recently redesigned from A to Z, the latest iteration is the most powerful, luxurious, and fuel efficient Boxster ever, but it stays true to the time-honored formula that made its forbears special.

Eye-catching style, improved interior
Whereas its predecessor featured gentle, organic lines, the latest Boxster sports a crisper appearance bolstered by muscular details like prominent rear "hips" and deeper side air intakes. With a Panamera-inspired sloping center console, the interior is also more stylish than before, and the overall design and material quality are at luxury car levels.

The instrument cluster remains a simple, legible three-gauge design with the tach front and center in the best sports car tradition, while the right gauge is now 4.6-inch TFT screen that can be configured to display numerous different types of vehicle information.

Despite its handling prowess, the 718 Boxster is actually a fairly practical machine - it offers 10 cubic feet of cargo room, although that space is divided between a traditional rear trunk and a frunk (front-trunk) where the engine would be in a normal car. Larger items may not fit.

The full power convertible soft top for the Boxster can be raised or lowered in just 9 seconds at speeds of up to 31 miles per hour, and it can be operated via keyfob when parked.

Technical specifications
Downsizing has struck again in Stuttgart.

The outgoing car's 2.7-liter naturally-aspirated flat-six has been replaced by a 2.0-liter flat-four that makes 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Moving up, the 718 Boxster S uses a 2.5-liter turbo four rated at 350 ponies and 309 lb-ft. of twist. Both engines offer 35 more horses than the six they replace.

A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic controlled by shift paddles is available as an option. The extra power allows the base Boxster to reach 60 mph from a stop in 4.5 seconds when it's equipped with the optional Sport Chrono package and the aforementioned dual-clutch gearbox. The similarly-equipped Boxster S performs the same task in four seconds flat, half a second faster than the outgoing model.

Standard and optional features
The Boxster comes standard with A/C, power windows and locks, cruise control, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo system, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, partial leather upholstery, power-adjustable seat backrests (manual height and fore/aft) and 18-inch wheels.

In addition to a noticeably more powerful engine, the Boxster S adds 19-inch alloys and Bi-Xenon headlights.

As with other members of the Porsche family, both Boxster models offer a nearly endless array of interior treatments and paint schemes in addition to available luxury and convenience features. While most other automakers offer such options as part of bundled packages - forcing buyers to sometimes pay for features they don't want to get desired items - Porsche offers all of its extras as stand-alone features. This means that buyers can create unique, custom cars, although doing so can quickly get very pricey.

Notable options include wall-to-wall leather upholstery, active sports seats and a Bose surround sound system.

Also available is the aforementioned Sport Chrono Package, which includes dynamic transmission mounts, a performance display, a digital and analogue stopwatch and the SPORT PLUS button. When this is pressed, the optional Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) switches to Sport mode for harder damping and more direct steering and therefore even more intensive road holding.

Other performance options include carbon ceramic brakes and a Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) system with a mechanical rear axle differential lock.

The Roadster is available with an infotainment system called Porsche Communications Manager (PCM). PCM groups the roadster's audio, navigation and communication functions into a single easy-to-use interface that packs a 40 GB hard drive, a USB port and Bluetooth connectivity. All of PCM's functions can be controlled by buttons, knobs or a built-in voice recognition software.

Adventure-minded buyers can opt to pick up their Boxster in either Zuffenhausen or Leipzig, Germany.

Occupant safety
All Boxster models are fitted with dual front, thorax and head airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems and safety hoops that deploy behind the headrests in rollover situations. A tire pressure monitoring system also comes standard.

Key competitors
Rivals to the Boxster include the Mercedes-Benz SLC, and the Audi TT.