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Porsche 718 Boxster T (2019) review: 4.5/5

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Focused four-cylinder fun from the cracking new Porsche 718 Boxster T.

Matt Robinson

Words: - @MttRbnsn

Published on: February 25, 2019

Words: - @MttRbnsn

Published on: February 25, 2019

Tech Specs

Model testedPorsche 718 Boxster T PDK
Pricingestimated from €86,870
Engine2.0-litre turbocharged horizontally opposed four-cylinder petrol
Transmissionseven-speed PDK dual-clutch auto with limited-slip differential, rear-wheel drive
Body styletwo-door roadster
CO2 emissions187g/km (Band E - €750 per annum)
Combined economy34.4mpg (8.2 litres/100km)
Top speed275km/h
0-100km/h4.7 seconds
Power300hp at 6,500rpm
Torque380Nm at 2,150-4,500rpm
Boot space150 litres front, 130 litres rear (280 litres total)

What are you driving?

The Porsche 718 Boxster T, open-top sibling of the 718 Cayman T we've already tested. Like the Cayman, the Boxster comes in for the same round of revisions: lower, sportier chassis, extra drivetrain tech, neat visual addenda outside and in and a marginally inflated price tag over a regular 718 Boxster. The aim is to take one very fine roadster and make it that little bit finer, that little bit more driver-centric, without going limited-run-hyper-special-model-crazy and shoehorning a 500hp six into the Boxster's midriff... and then asking €150,000 for the pleasure. Therefore, the T is a most noble aim on Porsche's part, we're sure you'll agree.


Name its best bits

The 718 Boxster T loses none of the handling finesse of the 718 Cayman T. It feels every bit the scintillating match of its hard-topped relation, thanks to a stiff chassis and Porsche's renowned technical know-how when it comes to suspension, steering, brakes and all the oily stuff. Thus, you could argue the Boxster is the better car of the two, especially as the lack of a sonic reverberation chamber behind the occupants' head (as found on the Cayman) and the rushing of the wind noise with the hood down does much to actually improve the 718's soundtrack. You lose some of the higher-frequency resonance to the flat-four engine's exertions, allowing you to better focus on the bass-rich rumblings of the standard-fit Sports exhaust system. This makes you feel altogether more predisposed to liking the four-cylinder Porsche.

Anything that bugs you?

There's still a lingering image issue for the Boxster, which we think is wrong, but it's there nonetheless; the Cayman has just a touch of extra 'cool' about it than the open-top Porsche. Also, since the 718 twins arrived, Porsche flipped its erstwhile contrarian pricing strategy and, finally, made the cabrio more expensive than the coupe, so the Boxster T is dearer than the Cayman T - and it doesn't really feel worth the extra outlay. Finally, as superb as the PDK automatic gearbox (and its attendant metal gearshift paddles on the wheel) is, you'll find it hunting for ratios on occasion when it's in automatic mode and, predictable though this impending sentence is, it does rob the driver of a degree of fast-driving interactivity that the manual 718 Ts have. Although PDK proponents would no doubt point to the fact that the automatic model is four-tenths of a second quicker for 0-100km/h than the manual car, so perhaps we ought to mention that as a positive...

And why have you given it this rating?

We love the 718 Boxster T and think it's an exceptional roadster, all told, but - forgive us - we're driving purists and the Cayman simply floats our boat more than the Boxster does. Add in the coupe's slightly more competitive pricing than the convertible's ticket, and we think you should stick as 'basic' as you can with the 718 T siblings: so, go for 'coupe', 'manual' and 'no infotainment or stereo'. Job, most emphatically, done.

I want to know more

If there is anything specific you'd like to know about the Porsche 718 Boxster T PDK that we've not covered, feel free to send us a question via the Ask Us Anything page.



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