2016 Porsche 718 Roadster Specs, Price and Review

A new lightweight, back-to-basics 2016 Porsche 718 roadster is set to arrive in 2016. The 718 is also called as baby Boxster, which actually shares the same platform and wheelbase dimension with the Boxster, but with smaller size and different styling. The new roadster is said to be powered with an all-new four cylinder engine. Curious, aren’t you? Let’s see the details below.

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The arrival of the 718 won’t be the only change in the Boxster/Cayman universe come 2016. The Cayman has always been (slightly) more expensive than the Boxster, but their positions will reverse with the coming update. In order to create greater separation from the 718, the Boxster will ascend to the top of the trio, its new premium pricing justified with additional equipment. As to the coming face-lift, it isn’t ground-shaking, but it seems safe to expect a modest visual update (bumpers, lights, wheels), a new steering wheel that incorporates a rotary drive-mode selector à la 918, additional driver-assistance systems, improved infotainment offerings, a head-up display, and optional full-LED headlights. Only a few of these goodies will filter down to the 718, however, as it—like the highly focused RS and Clubsport models—follows a less-is-more philosophy.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ recent decision to build a new Alfa Romeo roadster in Italy off its impending premium rear-wheel-drive platform may affect Porsche’s convertible strategy, however. The Mazda Miata–based car has switched from Alfa, which would have been a competitor for the 718, to Fiat Abarth, which will not. Thus, an alternative scenario has Porsche dumping the Boxster, leaving the Porsche 718 at the lower end, and having the Cayman as the sole walk-up to the 911 range.

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Exterior

The design of the tail lamps is, admittedly, an educated guess from our spy illustrator. What we know for sure—and what these vents indicate—is that the engine will sit behind the seats, as God intended.

According to CAR, the target weight for the 718 is 1,190 kilograms (2,623 pounds), which is around 120 kg (264 lbs) lighter than the Boxster. The weight savings are said to be brought about by the smaller engine plus a stripped-out cabin, Perspex rear window and manual-fitting canvas roof.

Interior

Besides the unique styling and powertrain, new features are said to include a redesigned interior with lightweight manually adjustable seats and a more basic instrument panel; a canvas top that can be operated with one hand from the driver’s seat; a lighter body with hang-on panels made of steel, aluminum, and polyurethane; a slightly lower windshield, thinner side glass, and a plexiglass rear window; and fixed rollover-protection loops behind the head restraints rather than active pop-up elements.

The cockpit continues the pared back-approach. The lightweight seats will be adjusted manually, and the instrument panel is simple compared with the complex electronic systems trickling through to cars like Audi’s new TT.

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Engine

As for the powertrain, the 718 is expected to feature in base trim a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 286 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. A larger 2.5-liter unit will also be available, offering 360 hp and 347 lb-ft. A six-speed manual will be standard, with a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch offered as an option.

Release Date and Price

The 2016 Porsche 718 roadster is expected to make its debut in 2016. Meanwhile, the pricing is still unknown, but experts say that the baby Boxster will cost around $53,000, which is $10,000 less than the Boxster. For now, let’s just wait until more information revealed as the development progresses.

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