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Car and Driver: How We’d Spec It: A 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster S With $25K in Options

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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster S

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Given that Porsche’s online configurator offers countless options, it’s easy to lose oneself in Porsche’s multitude of personalization options, from colored seatbelts to leather-wrapped steering columns, and end up with five figures’ worth of extras. We did just that when building out a new 2017 718 Boxster S, which despite dropping its classic flat-six engine for a turbocharged four—and gaining the 718 name and 35 horsepower, for a total of 350 ponies—also runs $3900 more than last year’s Boxster S. In the spirit of the price increase, and for a change of pace from our purist, nearly option-free long-term 2014 Porsche Cayman S, we went nuts on an imaginary 718 Boxster S. How nuts? We added just shy of $25,000 in options—to a car with a base price of $69,450.
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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster S

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MODEL:

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Porsche 718 Boxster S (base price: $69,450)

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Before options are slathered on, Porsche’s 718 Boxster S arrives with plenty of good stuff. There’s the 350-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter flat-four engine (making 50 more ponies than the base 718 Boxster’s 2.0-liter four), a six-speed manual transmission, power-operated soft top, self-deploying rear spoiler, power heated side mirrors, LED running lights, LED taillights, bixenon headlights, and 19-inch wheels. Baked-in essentials like a wonderful chassis, talkative and knifelike electrically assisted steering, and a firm brake pedal are a given—we haven’t driven the 718, but it’s essentially a warmed-over version of the current Boxster, and it’s inconceivable that the switch to a turbocharged engine would affect its basic strengths. You could buy the base, stripped-out 718 and probably have a ball, but since most Porsche buyers don’t do their shopping on a budget, neither will we. Bring on the extras!

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OPTIONS:

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Lava Orange paint ($2580)

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Black all-leather interior ($2580)

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Porsche Dynamic Light System ($970)

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Keyless entry and proximity key ($790)

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Roll bars in matching exterior color ($635)

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Porsche Active Suspension Management Sport ($2070)

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Torque-vectoring differential ($1320)

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Sport Chrono package ($1920)

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20-inch Carrera S wheels ($1580)

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Wheels painted black satin ($1085)

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Heated steering wheel ($470)

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Two-way Sports Seats Plus ($440)

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Heated seats ($530)

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Ventilated seats ($730)

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Dual-zone automatic climate control ($760)

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Navigation ($1730)

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Burmester surround-sound audio system ($4690)

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We added 17 options to our imaginary 718 Boxster S. Totaling $24,820, the goods run the gamut from vain style boosters to functional necessities. Starting with the 718’s exterior, we went with the new Lava Orange paint for a bit of retina-searing pop at a wallet-emptying $2580; we also added $635 color-matched caps for the backsides of both roll hoops, as well as $1580 20-inch Carrera S wheels with another $1085 in satin-black paint for even more visual pop. Keeping the high-contrast theme going strong is the black all-leather interior option for $2580, as well as the no-cost black convertible top. None of these bits are necessary, but they sure do look cool.

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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster S

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There’s some functionality in the $440 two-way Sports Seats Plus, which are more heavily bolstered than the stock chairs, as well as the $970 Porsche Dynamic Light System’s swiveling headlights that steer with the front wheels to better illuminate curves. Arguments can also be made for the performance benefit of the $1320 torque-vectoring rear differential and the $2070 Porsche Active Suspension Management and its adjustable dampers. The $1920 Sport Chrono package, too, proves useful with dynamic engine mounts, rev-matching downshift functionality for the six-speed manual transmission, a Sport Plus driving mode, and an analog and digital stopwatch for the dashboard.

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2017 Porsche 718 Boxster S

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From there we devolved somewhat, getting carried away with the 821-watt, 13-speaker $4690 Burmester surround-sound audio system (but, hey, open-air motoring demands a loud stereo); $1730 navigation system; and $790 proximity key (both of which, arguably, should be standard). Because we enjoy wringing out convertibles top-down even in chilly weather, we opted for the $470 heated steering wheel, $530 heated seats, and $760 dual-zone automatic climate control for finer driver/passenger temperature control. Ventilated seats come in handy for long top-down trips in hot weather—particularly in cars with black interiors—and we can attest to their usefulness on a road trip from Ann Arbor to Virginia in a pre-718 Boxster S a few years ago.

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It all sounds so simple, so obvious, these options, but as you can see they ballooned the Porsche’s bottom line by nearly 50 percent to $94,270. Even so, such transaction prices were easily attainable on the old Boxster, and this go around we left about $16,000 worth of several big-ticket items on the table, including the $2140 full-LED adaptive headlights, $3170 Premium Package Plus and its 18-way power seats, $3200 PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission, and the $7400 carbon-ceramic brake kit. And in this day and age, netting a well-optioned Porsche for less than $100,000 feels like a victory. An expensive victory, but a win all the same.

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