2024 Porsche 718 Boxster Road Test: Let summer season driving begin

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BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. -- There are a lot of ways to mark the beginning of summer. The first time the temperature crests 80 degrees. The first time you jump in the pool. Maybe it's your first round of golf on a sun drenched afternoon while sipping a seasonal beer, like an Oberon ale. For me, summer 2024 started Thursday at 9:07 p.m. Eastern Standard Time when I walked out of my house, dropped the top on the Porsche 718 Boxster and took off for a joyride in the still-balmy air.

Eleven minutes past sunset, the Boxster Style Edition -- clad in metallic blue paint with gloss white wheels -- proved too enticing. It’s the quintessential sports car with pitch perfect handling and curvy yet proportional styling. The 718 is an exercise in good taste and balance, providing the most tactile and linear steering feel, direct brakes and more than enough power, 300 hp, to blast around town in the gathering darkness.

While the driver engagement and stylish looks are certainly in evidence, the soundtrack of the 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder and cacophonous exhaust create an aural sensation that empties the mind. Like this Porsche, which maintains its balance and composure though nearly every maneuver, my brain completely cleared while behind the wheel.

I headed for Woodward Avenue, ground zero for summer cruising, car culture and sometimes street racing. The strip was relatively uneventful, though a bro in a Ram TRX felt the need to loudly pass me, and then a Ferrari followed him. An odd pairing to be blasting toward downtown Birmingham

Pivoting back north, I used every stoplight as an excuse to floor it, carefully lifting around 50 or 55 mph, the speed limit in the northern suburbs for Woodward. It was simple. Red light turns green. Mash the gas. Revs go crazy. Whoops there’s 50 -- better lift -- followed by snaps, crackles and pops. Porsche makes the 718 sound right. While I was wistful for the six-speed manual, the seven-speed PDK is very good. It is such a solid partner with the boxer four that I could actually see myself checking that $3,210 option.

The Style Edition includes 20-inch white wheels, “Porsche” graphics spelled out in white lettering and Boxster embossed on the fabric convertible top. It feels slightly retro, going back to the 1980s and 90s when Porsche had a funkier, less technical feel. This Boxster comes in at $94,460, which approaches 911 territory, yet somehow still falls nearly 10 grand short. At this exact moment I prefer the dynamics offered by the 718’s mid-mounted engine, though I’d lean closer something around the model’s $70,000 MSRP.

After an hour or so, darkness settles in and it’s getting cooler. My summer greeting is turning into a reprisal of spring, and I make my way home. The 718 is so smooth and precise, I pass my house twice. It’s hard to stop driving a sports car during a season that’s so fleeting. Finally, the Springsteen concert I’m listening to slows down and I decide that past 10 o’clock on a school night is a good time to head home. Summer is just getting started.


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