Back to top

Thwarted in the engine bay, Porsche saves its traditional incremental enhancement for the Boxster’s marvellous handling compromise.

Four years ago, we said the car’s sporting brio was so effortless that it almost qualified as uncanny.

Front tyres command good steering response and authority, so you seldom miss an apex anywhere

It is possible now to be even less equivocal: with the optional PASM system (£971) and mechanical locking rear diff (£890) fitted, the Boxster combines transparent sporting pedigree with the kind of wonderfully tied-down comfort levels that make the model not only endlessly absorbing but also inexhaustibly good company. Fundamentally, of course, the temperament has not changed.

The Boxster still makes a palpable virtue of its mid-engine balance, still changes direction very sweetly and still provides a volume manufacturer benchmark for how a two-seat sports car ought to feel once you’ve removed the roof.

The chief differences between the 718 and its predecessor are the breadth and depth of its adaptive ride quality and the prescribed sharpening of its chassis.

Polishing both seems counter-intuitive, but Porsche’s engineers have done their job at the margins with typical effectiveness.

In the PASM’s most forgiving mode, the Boxster makes short work of even the most ramshackle UK road. The stated loss of 10mm of spring travel barely seems credible when the wheel control (even with 20in Carrera S wheels shoehorned under every corner) is so consistently supple.

So adroit is the suspension’s tuning that – as before – there’s no immediate need to abandon the default setting when pushing on.

Instead, the Boxster’s stiffened chassis lets you lean ever more enthusiastically into it, delivering apparently endless grip and poise even as it continues to benevolently tidy up the road surface.

The modestly quicker (and exceptionally good) electric steering plays its part, but we’d wager that Porsche’s upgrading of the PASM’s vertical sensors is at least as important in this respect. As a generator of composure, and the playful confidence that comes with it, the Boxster remains unparalleled and a handy nose ahead of the previous model.

The 718 Boxster’s trustworthiness and mid-engined poise transfer well to circuit driving. The car’s ability to deploy its performance has only been magnified by the engineers’ efforts to firm up the fundamentals.

The concept of it being yet more rigid at the back and shod in wider rubber is not difficult to grasp on a dry track.

So elemental is the traction that it would take an extraordinarily keen driver to make the traction control light flutter on a public road.

Its performance on its Pirelli P Zero tyres was redolent of the Cayman GT4, another car acutely reluctant to become unstuck yet savagely and brilliantly driveable with it.

The 718 reduces that savagery but deserves some of the same praise. Its sharper steering has introduced no ill-effect snappiness, much as the broader lateral grip has yielded none of the intransigence we tend to associate with very high adhesiveness.

Instead, the car provides the kind of sensory platform that encourages extraordinary speed to be carried.