Car enthusiasts may have been disheartened to learn that Porsche had jerked two cylinders out of the 2017 Boxster’s engine compartment — and slapped a new “718” badge on its decklid — yet historians (and those of us who have driven it) will mark this new model as a significant step forward for the German automaker’s mid-engine sports car.
But, why a four-cylinder, for the first time in the Boxster’s lifespan? As was recently the case with the rear-engine 911, Porsche’s performance hand was forced by ever more stringent emissions and fuel economy regulations. In response, Porsche’s deft response was to reduce the Boxster engine’s cylinder count and displacement, offsetting those losses by adopting forced induction across the range. As a former Boxster owner, I wondered if the new four-cylinder turbo engine changed the endearing character of the diminutive drop-top.