Auto

Sporting the new 718

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor –
Auto and Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, April 28, 2017

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MIAMI is renowned for its tropical climate, beaches, and sports cars. So it came as no surprise when I was asked to test drive the new Porsche 718 Boxster on super-highway I-95.On the outside, the new two-door, soft-top convertible has got some subtle touches, but still retains its sharp profile.

It now has a more sculptured and masculine look, complemented by narrow front lights above the lateral air intakes which contain the parking lights and indicators.

The front end is rounded out by the new design of the bi-xenon headlights with integrated LED daytime running lights.

The sporty personality of the German-made sports car is highlighted by new 19-inch wheels.

The rear wheels are each half-inch wider than previous models and improve on lateral dynamics. The inside also got an upgrade.

The leather trim impresses with its uninterrupted stitching that extends right to the storage compartment.

The redesigned upper part of the dash panel reflects the three-dimensional exterior design with its elevated air vents.

The steering is even more precise with a 375-mm-diameter sport steering wheel like that of the 918 Spyder.

A central element of the new interior layout is Porsche Communication Management (PCM) with mobile phone preparation, audio interfaces, and the Sound Package Plus with 110 watts of audio power.

The PCM can be extended with optional modules to adapt to personal requirements.

The optional Connect module, for example, comprises a smartphone storage tray for wireless connection to the car's exterior antenna, an iPod- capable USB port on the centre console, Apple CarPlay including “Siri” voice control, and Porsche Car Connect.

The centrepiece of the model series is the newly developed four-cylinder flat engine with turbocharging.

The 718 Boxster develops 220 kW (300 hp) of power from two litres of engine displacement. It is very responsive. A slight touch of the acceleration pedal and the speedometer jumps with excitement. The super sports car had to be restrained along the 75 mph (120 km/h) strip as it yearned to flex its muscle.

The Boxster completes intermediate sprints with superior performance and accelerate even faster from low revs. With PDK and the Sport Chrono Package, it sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds — 0.8 seconds faster than the previous model. Its top speed is 275 km/h.

With its improved speed, stronger brakes are used with 330-mm brake discs in front and 299-mm discs at the rear.

The 718 seven-speed PDK transmission handles well and is very agile. The completely new chassis tuning once again improves cornering speeds of the mid-engine sports car. Higher stabiliser and spring rates keep rolling and pitching motions as slight as possible.

This further enhances ride comfort. The tuning also increases solidity and improves spring rebound on both small and large road bumps.

The electromechanical steering, whose layout is 10 per cent more direct, makes control of the 718 Boxster even more agile and easier to handle both on circuit tracks and in everyday traffic.

For greater precision and lateral stability, Porsche modified numerous aspects of the rear suspension.

For instance, a new lateral member strengthens the rear subframe and, thereby, improves lateral rigidity and stability. The new 718 Boxster certainly lives up Porsche's legacy.

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