FOUR EQUALS MORE – DAN TRENT ONWHY THE 718 DESERVES MORE CREDIT
The way some people dismiss the four-cylinder turbos in the 718 cars you’d think Porsche slung a Golf motor in it in the hope nobody would notice. To some it seems an engine with just four cylinders and a turbo isn’t a proper Porsche engine.
Rest assured, this IS a proper Porsche engine. The more you read up on it the more exotic you realise it is and how, despite being two cylinders down, you’re basically getting 911 engineering in a car that costs half as much. Nobody could accuse Porsche of being half-hearted in engineering terms, the variable vane turbo one example of its complexity.
I can’t pretend it sounds as good as the six-cylinder, or that it delivers on that emotive connection. The immediacy of response isn’t there, likewise the inertia-free crescendo of revs or searing sonic reward for sending the rev-counter’s needle all the way round the dial.
But it has other qualities, its response to the throttle being night and day different to the in-line four-cylinder turbos many seem to lump it with. Yes, there’s a slight softness to the pedal but it picks up revs in a way only a short-stroke engine can and the throttle calibration is sharp enough that heel’n’toe blipping is as instinctive as any naturally aspirated engine. It’s hardly short on revs either – the 7500rpm redline is just 300rpm behind the 981 GTS’S 3.4 and, believe me, it thrives on using every last one of them. It’s night and day more exotic, more exciting and more involving than the highly boosted hatchback motors in the Alfa Romeo 4C and Alpine, too. This is a real sports car with a real sports car’s engine.
And the end result? A faster and more exciting Boxster that finally delivers on the dynamic promise we always knew was there. I’ll miss the six-cylinder noise. But I consider this a fair swap