Review: 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster S

– Austin, Texas

I recently spent meaningful hours fussing with a spreadsheet, in an effort to see which convertibles measure out best for drivers of large stature. It’s fair to say that I dig cars with a roof-free mode.

So on my trip south to drive the new 718 line from Porsche, there wasn’t much chance that I’d come home with only a fixed-roof Cayman review.

As has been the case in years past, Porsche’s most affordable sports car (though not its most inexpensive model) is effectively wonderful as a coupe or a convertible. The version you opt for has everything to do with personal inclination, and shouldn’t be based on dynamic superiority one way or the other.

 

 

Pros

  • Porsche engines aren’t typically eye-watering in terms of simple output figures. The 350 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque manufactured by the new, turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer-four seems a little light as the $60,000-, 460-hp Corvette Convertible winks from across the room. But the fact is that this is a wildly effective power unit. Runs to 60 miles per hour take as little as four seconds, but the car feels quite a bit quicker with the wind galloping madly through your hair and a growling exhaust note tickling your gas-pedal foot. I was especially impressed with the available torque in casual passing situations: top gear, 70 mph, and overtaking the slowcoach in the lane ahead doesn’t even necessitate a downshift. Let alone the really massive feeling of thrust when pulling onto a straight after a third-g...