2022 Porsche 718 Boxster 25 Years limited edition review

Porsche celebrates 25 years of the Boxster, and we’re more than happy to help blow out the candles.

What we love
  • Sound is incredibly epic
  • Top-shelf dynamics paired with comfy ride quality
  • Arguably practical enough for the every day

What we don’t
  • Infotainment interface showing its age
  • Frustratingly tall gearing
  • Bose audio should be included as standard

Few know it, believing instead that the Cayenne SUV turned Porsche’s tides, but the Porsche Boxster was the car that saved Porsche as it faced financial ruin throughout the 1990s. Not so much of a revolutionary idea, rather one that expanded what Porsche was already doing with the 911, the Boxster brought the brand to a new fashion-forward audience keen on top-down roadster motoring.

It quickly became the brand’s best-selling model, turning Porsche’s fortunes and allowing the brand to springboard to even more profitable models such as the Cayenne.

Such an important model in a brand’s history deserves celebration – enter the 2022 Porsche 718 Boxster 25 Years special edition. Limited to just 1250 units, the 25 Years edition is based on the 718 Boxster GTS and scores its famed party-piece – a naturally aspirated 4.0-litre flat-six-cylinder engine.

Key details 2022 Porsche Boxster 25 Years
Price (MSRP) $187,200 plus on-road
Colour of test car GT Silver metallic
Options PDK automatic gearbox – $5390
Bose surround-sound system – $2230
Adaptive Sports Seats Plus – $1910
Painted roll bars – $960
Painted vehicle key – $780
Electric-folding exterior mirrors – $560
Bordeaux Red seatbelts – $520
Painted headlight washer covers – $380
Price as tested $199,930 plus on-road costs
Rivals Audi TT RS | Jaguar F-Type | BMW Z4

Personally, I’ve never quite gelled with the 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxer engine that the 718-generation cars made their debut with. So imagine my delight when Porsche announced it was bringing a naturally aspirated six-cylinder back to the model line with the GTS. I’ve wanted to drive one ever since!

Power is sent to the rear wheels through a – in our case – seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission, though a six-speed manual is available. It can run from zero to 100km/h in 4.0 seconds flat (the manual is half a second slower), and on to a 293km/h top speed.

But the 25 Years doesn’t just make do with an engine upgrade. It’s marked by a bold Bordeaux leather interior with a matching red soft-top, which pays tribute to Porsche’s original 1993 Boxster concept car. The car also sports exterior design highlights finished in Neodyme Gold.

Other standard additions include the aluminium interior package, 14-way electrically adjustable sports seats, a heated GT sports steering wheel, and distinctive ‘Boxster 25’ badging inside and out.

It’s priced from $187,200, and as with every Porsche, there’s a smattering of options available to blow that price out. Our GT Silver metallic tester was fitted with the PDK gearbox, Bose surround-sound system, Adaptive Sports Seats Plus, painted roll bars, a painted key, electric-folding exterior mirrors, red seatbelts, and painted headlight washer covers.

An itemised breakdown is listed in the table below, though these items collectively add $12,730 to the baseline price to make EOK89J a $199,930 car before on-road costs.

2022 Porsche Boxster 25 Years
Seats Two
Boot volume 150L front / 120L rear
Length 4391mm
Width 1801mm
Height 1273mm
Wheelbase 2475mm

In terms of looks, I heard varying opinions throughout the week I spent with the car. Some praised the Neodyme Gold accents, while others were less than kind with their appraisals. Personally, I sit somewhere in between. I loved the contrast between the GT Silver paintwork and Bordeaux Red interior, though I could leave the gold accents and Simmons-esque 20-inch wheels on the exterior.

Jump inside for the first time and you’ll immediately feel cosy in the plush and sumptuous space. The red leather, carpets, and trim pieces do make you feel special. Some might view it as over-the-top, but once you’re inside it’s a very bold cabin to spend time in.

This car’s been around without a significant update since 2016, and it shows when you look between the dash layout, the centre console stack, and the infotainment screen. While some could forgive the button-laden divider between driver and passenger for ease of access and simplicity, the functionality and design of the infotainment software are looking tired in 2022.

There are seldom cool features to play with, and for near $200K you’d expect a bit more in the way of tech and features. A small toggle screen on the right of the rev counter switches between various data and media information.

Porsche’s optional up-spec 18-way Sports seats provide excellent support and comfort whether you’re blasting along a back road or weathering a freeway schlep, and there’s plenty of adjustability between the steering wheel and seats to afford a lovely, low seating position.

Cabin ambience is great whether the top is up or down. When it’s up there’s marginally more road and wind noise than a hard-topped car, while the cabin is impressively tranquil when you’ve got the top down travelling at 100km/h.

The Bose sound system was fantastic – I had a great time blasting down the coast banging tunes that were rendered with quality and strong bass. That said, I think at this price point, a Bose sound system should be included as standard.

I was pretty cautious navigating about town with such a low front bar, though as long as you’re sensible it’s not likely to touch terra firma. It was also easy to park with good all-round vision and easy-access features such as keyless entry and start.

Between the front and rear boots, the Boxster offers a combined 270L of storage. While capacities are separated for 150L at the front and 120L above the mid-mounted engine, this surprisingly beats a Mazda CX-3 for outright space. I’m not about to go out and call it practical, though the Boxster might just cater for more than you’d expect.

Back inside the cabin, build quality and materials use are highlights, with nearly everything you touch covered in a premium material that reminds of the price tag. The soft-top roof can be lowered or raised when on the move using two buttons below the shifter, though this can also be done outside the car by using the key.

That said, subscribing to the James Ward mantra of ‘top down unless raining’, I opted to spend almost all the week with the ‘Boxster 25’-embossed fabric roof down.

For one, it makes the experience of relishing in that glorious 4.0-litre flat-six-cylinder engine that much better. Forget the 294kW/420Nm outputs for just a moment, as this naturally aspirated engine is all about the thrill of the drive.

Its old-school nature is a refreshing throwback in 2022, whereby you have to rev it all the way out to its 7800rpm limiter for ultimate noise and power. And you’ll want to do it every time you slot in behind the wheel, because the sound emanating from the sports exhaust is immense. There’s a fair amount of bellowing induction noise that joins the party too.

The downside is that in order to reach that addictive aural crescendo, you’ll likely be breaking speed limits. The gearing is just too high – where you’d rather be snapping through the gears in quick succession, all you really get to use is second and third gear if you’re focused on keeping below posted speed limits in Australia.

To really get the full-force effect of those 294kW/420Nm outputs, naturally you’ll also have to sit in the upper half of the rev range. Porsche does supply a nifty trick on the steering-wheel-mounted driving mode selector – press the dead centre of the button for Sport Response mode, which immediately drops the car into its most applicable gear with the most response in terms of torque.

At a glance 2022 Porsche Boxster 25 Years
Warranty Three years / unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km

Speaking of which, the seven-speed PDK transmission that enables this is deftly quick. It’s also intuitive – understanding the right moment to downshift with infallible accuracy. Paddle shifters allow you to take things into your own hands, though I was more than happy letting the car sort itself.

As wondrous as the mid-mounted flat-six engine is, there were mechanical noises that remind you it’s not the last word in refinement. You can hear ticks and creaks from the engine and gearbox at certain revs, if that bothers.

Porsche backs the Boxster 25 for three years with an unlimited-kilometre stipulation, though extensions can be bought at extra cost. Service intervals occur at 12-month or 15,000km increments. It manages to keep tight to Porsche’s official fuel claim too. Against an official 9.7L/100km combined rating, a week on test recorded a 10.0L/100km combined consumption.

Fuel Consumption – brought to you by bp

Fuel Usage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 9.7L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 10.0L/100km
Fuel type 98-octane petrol
Fuel tank size 64L

I was lucky enough to go both ways around Port Phillip Bay while I had the car and – even better – the weather was beautiful too! It’s not a problem to tour in the Boxster, though it’s laughable that it doesn’t have adaptive cruise control. It’s equipped with Porsche’s Adaptive Suspension management system, which switches between hard and soft dampers depending on what drive mode you’re in.

For a sports car, the ride is great – it is settled around town and over speed humps, while it deals with mid-corner bumps with composure. You do know it when you trudge through bumps and over imperfections, but it’s well-damped.

Turning onto windier stretches of road, the Boxster 25 relishes in the opportunity to flex its dynamic muscle. The steering is a fantastic weight and is wholly feelsome, which makes hooking the car between bends not only sharp but also so much fun. I love the way the rear end rotates around after turn-in – handling the 1435kg body through successive switchbacks is lithe and nimble.

It’ll even pull up well, with great pedal feel and a strong bite from the brakes on initial prod. Some minor body scuttle is noticeable when running over certain road imperfections, though this is part and parcel of a convertible where the lack of a fixed roof impacts rigidity.

Key details 2022 Porsche Boxster 25 Years
Engine 4.0-litre six-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol
Power 294kW @ 7000rpm
Torque 430Nm @ 5500rpm
Drive type Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Power to weight ratio 204.9kW/t
Weight (kerb) 1435kg
Turning circle 11.0m

When in the firmer damper mode, the car feels noticeably flatter around corners, skips over bumps a bit more brittle, and generally feels more sporty. Grip from the Pirelli P Zero tyres is strong in both wet and dry, and it feels confidence-inspiring no matter the conditions.

There’s just something about having the top down that adds to the experience too. In addition to its abilities on a spirited drive, the open-air experience adds another layer of enjoyment that I would walk past a hard-topped 718 Cayman for.

Whether you’re into what Porsche’s done with the Boxster 25 Years is kind of irrelevant, as its 1250-unit run is spoken for. It’s a fitting tribute to 25 years’ worth of Porsche’s pioneering roadster, subtly hinting back to the concept car where it all began.

More than the 25 Years special edition this review focuses on, the six-cylinder Boxster is a thing to behold. The engine is truly intoxicating and a delight in a world where everything else is turbocharged.

There are some bits and pieces that are beginning to show their age, though the famed nameplate shines on in 2022 as well as ever. Here’s to another 25!

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