Rocky Marciano is name that is synonymous to the world of Boxing. Depending on whom you talk to (or what list you look at) he has been classed as the best the world has seen and yet also barely scraped in to the top 10. Most of the variance is due to the lack of video footage of his fights. One thing that can’t be disputed is his punching power, workrate or stamina. Although he weighed in at 85kg’s – even back then (early 1950’s) that was light for a heavyweight boxer (most being way over 90kg’s) – he had a knockout percentage of 87.75 and held the world heavyweight title from 1952 – 1956. He retired on April 27, 1956 with an unblemished 49-0 career!
The new 718 Boxster S Porsche flooded me with thoughts of Rocky (Marciano not Balboa). It’s not the biggest car in the world of true sportscars but boy does it pack a punch. It stands only 1,280mm tall and weighs in at 1,355kg’s in its shorts – with a power to weight ratio of almost 1-1 (3.9kg/4hp)
It’s a Mid-engine; rear wheel drive power horse with a 2.5L four cylinder single turbo (with variable turbine geometry – VTG) engine. The VTG expands the turbine as you increase the power, which basically means it virtually eliminates turbo lag. In the tale of the tape it produces 257kW of ground shaking power (26kW increase on previous models) and 420Nm of torque (+60Nm on before). 0-100 comes in at a shade over 4 seconds and it has a Top speed of 285kph.
Porsche let me spar with it for a few days and even parked on my driveway it drew a crowd.
It has a new sculptured jawline giving off a wider more masculine look – particularly when you add in the narrow headlights and lateral air intakes. From the driver’s seat, you get to see the strong lines of the front wings (to me they’re reminiscent of the 911’s of old) and both lead down to LED headlights with four point daytime running lights (optioned on this 718).
The car’s sculpted profile is broken up by an eye catching vertical louvre (just ahead of the rear axle), as well as its aesthetics; it also supplies air to the engine and cools the intercooler. To top off the view from the side, this example had the 20” Carrera S wheels option (plainly well worth it).
The redesigned 3D LED taillights, additional reflector edge and integrated Porsche badge accent strip all combine to make a stronger rear end – Top up or down it looks good.
The interior will be familiar to any Porsche driver, leather throughout and that distinctive sportscar feel. Heated seats and wheel keep your rear and mits toasty and even in winter; made top down driving pleasurable. The 718 now includes Porsche Communication management (PCM) that brings all your tech together – Phone, Car Play, Nav etc and it has a 110watts audio system that rocks the entire car – but I’m not so sure as you’ll use it that much as…
The sound through the centrally located round dual tailpipes of its new exhaust system in Sports mode is sublime and almost uncharacteristic from such an attractive 2 seater convertible. I kept turn the dial on the wheel to sport before turning the key just to hear the roar as it sprung into life and with the revs up high it truly yells and echo’s through tunnels.
On the road the Boxster S feels agile, nimble and responsive. It ducked and dove around the driving ring or circuit that I use to test a car’s handling and as I jabbed at the accelerator it spat and backfired as it moved up and down the gears. The entire experience is awesome! Being Mid-engined it feels well balanced and being rear wheel drive it gives that familiar sense of control. The PASM (Porsche active Suspension Management) system ensured that any flaws (as if) in my driving were corrected and kept all four wheels where they should be – it touch with the tarmac. The PASM is an option that offers a 20mm lower ride height and a very noticeable ‘turn in’ when in sports mode.
The brakes were squeaky when cold and I’m reliably informed that this is because the S uses the four-piston calipers seen on the 911 and thicker discs – all I know is that the pull your face off stopping power ensures you feel confident to push that little bit harder.
The NEDC fuel consumption of its 4 cylinder/7 speed PDK dual clutch transmission combination gives 7.3L/100k efficiency; meaning that on a full tank you will certainly go the distance and with two luggage compartments it has a combined 275L storage capability – so you have plenty of clothes to change into when you get there (wherever ‘there’ is)
Although I only went a few rounds with the Boxster S I can happily say that Pound for pound it really is one of the best sportscars out there and as if to underline its popularity (being a convertible) at the flick of a switch it will ‘raise the roof’.
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