Porsche 718 – the mid-engine sports car
The concept of the successful sports cars from the 1950s has been brought back to life in the Porsche 718. A two-seater with a four-cylinder boxer engine located in front of the rear axle, it marks the continuation of the Boxster and Cayman success story.
Porsche shocked the sports car world at the 1993 Detroit Motor Show with the unveiling of a sports car design that caused a sensation. The Boxster study was extremely well received by the public. Three years later, at the 1996 International Geneva Motor Show, the series design was unveiled: the Boxster (986 generation). Its design recalled the legendary 550 Spyder racing car, and it also echoed this classic model in technical terms as the only car in its segment to be built as a mid-engine sports car. This principle ensured balanced axle load distribution and promised excellent cornering dynamics.
The Boxster realised its potential and became a major success, with the second generation of the Boxster and Boxster S being debuted in 2004. Porsche developed the roadster into a coupé, which closed the gap in the range between the Boxster and 911 Carrera when it hit the market in November 2005 as the Cayman S. In 2009 and 2015, the allure of mid-engine sports cars was fuelled by a name boasting a rich tradition – the Spyder. The versions featuring Porsche’s classic motorsport designation differ from the other Boxster derivatives, and not only in terms of their looks: as the most lightweight production sports cars from Porsche, they feature enhanced engines and deliver stunning driving performance. This refined sportiness is also reflected in the GTS models, which were introduced as of 2014.
In 2015, some 20 years after the debut of the first Boxster, Porsche began launching a new series of mid-engine sports car models. At the heart of the 718 Boxster, the initial new model to be brought to market, is the first four-cylinder boxer engine from Porsche to feature turbocharging. It is available in two versions, boasting 221 kilowatts (300 horsepower) and 257 kilowatts (350 horsepower) respectively. The following year saw the release of the 718 Cayman and 718 Cayman S coupés, which have the same drives as the roadster. In 2017, the GTS variants took over top spot from the roadster and coupé with their uprated engines delivering an additional 269 kilowatts (365 horsepower). This shift to the efficient yet powerful four-cylinder engines is also reflected in the new name. The historic 718 housed a four-cylinder mid-engine and overcame considerably more powerful cars to record high-profile victories in Le Mans, at the Nürburgring and in the Targa Florio, to name but a few. Together with the predecessor models, a total of 446,175 two-seaters have been produced in the 718 series as of December 31, 2018.