Porsche 718 Boxster preview 2

Sime Darby Auto Performance (SDAP) has brought along the new Porsche 718 Boxster as a preview for the media at the Porsche World Roadshow at the Sepang International Circuit today – the updated mid-engined roadster is being showcased there ahead of its official launch in Malaysia.

Firstly, that new name – 718 is Porsche’s new junior sports car model name, linking it to the 718 race car from the late 1950s, which also used a flat-four engine (more on that later). The “Boxster” bit now denotes the bodystyle, with this and the recently-unveiled 718 Cayman coupé now rolled into a single model line.

The facelift to the 981 (that’s the model code) brought along more than just a new name. The front and rear ends have been significantly revamped, adding new head- and tail lights (the former with integrated LED daytime running lights, the latter with sleek twin bars), restyled bumpers and a rear accent strip with Porsche badging linking the tail lights. Along the sides, there are larger air intakes and new door handles.

Inside, there’s a new 918 Spyder-inspired hollow-spoke steering wheel, new flat-bottomed air vents and a new Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system with options such as Connect (tray with wireless connection between smartphone and car, Apple CarPlay), Navigation (with voice control, 3D maps possible) and Connect Plus (all included).

But it’s under the bonnet where the biggest difference lies. The old naturally-aspirated flat-six engines have been consigned to the history books, replaced by a pair of flat-fours with variable turbine geometry (VTG).

The 2.0 litre mill in the base Boxster makes 300 hp and 380 Nm of torque from 1,950 to 4,500 rpm, which is 35 hp and a whole 100 Nm up on the old 2.7 litre unit. Zero to 100 km/h in done in 4.7 seconds, while the top speed is 275 km/h – that’s 0.8 seconds and 11 km/h faster than before, respectively.

Porsche 718 Boxster preview 5

The S utilises a bigger 2.5 litre lump that churns out 350 hp and 420 Nm of torque from 1,900 to 4,500 rpm. That’s 35 hp and 60 Nm more than the outgoing 3.4 litre unit, enabling the new car to blast past the 100 km/h mark in just 4.2 seconds (0.6 seconds quicker) before hitting a top speed of 285 km/h (up 8 km/h). Both engines are available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission.

Despite the massive power and speed gains, the new Boxsters are up to 13% more fuel efficient, making it a win-win for the opposing parameters. To be exact, the new base Boxster is rated at 6.9 litres per 100 km in the NEDC cycle with the PDK, which is 0.7 litres less than before. The new S’ 7.3 litres per 100 km is a 0.9 litres per 100 km improvement.

As yet, there’s no indication of when exactly the Porsche 718 Boxster will actually go on sale in Malaysia. No pricing either, although it will almost certainly retail far north of the half a million mark. Want to know how the new Boxster drives? Read our review here.