Instead of bringing a traditional 981.2 refresh, the Boxster (and Cayman) are being reintroduced as new models with turbocharged 4 cylinder engines. Rated at 300hp in the base (nearly as much as the outgoing S!) and 350 hp in the S version, the Boxster will now take the place of the higher spec car, with the Cayman coupe being cheaper. (The outgoing 981 Cayman was priced considerably above the Boxster.) This is probably going to drive used 981.1s down in price, especially the Cayman.
The interior is minor changes from the 981.1, new steering wheel, standard PCM, and revised trim round out the changes. While PCM is standard, the navigation module is not, although possibly not of much importance, as long as the owner has a compatible smart phone, as PCM includes Carplay, and hopefully someday Android Auto. . Note the contrasting rev counter background and the flat bottom air vents (although one might wonder why Porsche did that, without a flat bottom wheel.) The Sport Chrono timer sits in a revised and fussier but less protruding housing in the center of the dash. Sport Chrono also includes an individual setting which the driver can tailor to what he wants - it is configurable for steering assist, throttle response, PDK programs and suspension stiffness, if PASM is equipped.
The new sport suspension is similar to the old X73 sport suspension setup on the 981.1, with 20mm of lowering, stiffer springs, shocks/struts and sway bars, but this time it is PASM compatible - the old suspension was fixed. Standard PASM will lower the car 10mm and adds more significant damping changes between comfort and sport, compared to the 981.1.
Transmission options aren't changed much, with an excellent 6 speed manual being standard and 7 speed PDK being a fairly expensive option. PDK will be the drag strip and fuel economy winner, with driving involvement belonging to the short throw and very mechanical manual gearbox.
The big changes are the new Flat-4 cylinder engines with opposing cylinders similar to Subaru's arrangement. The big advantage of this is an extremely low center of gravity compared to an inline or V engine, but balance and often engine note suffers. Porsche has taken great care to make sure their motors are nice sounding, so hopefully these will follow suit.
I'm really excited for this car, it brings a level of performance to the Boxster platform, both stock and tuned that it hasn't had, except for the GT4 and Boxster Spyder models, without the additional weight of a 3.8l motor. This could be a really nice package... let's hope Porsche doesn't have to bloat the car with additional weight. Stay tuned for more news here, or read more at Porsche's press site.
Silicon Valley Dad, who loves cars, cooking, clothes and cameras