What Are They?
Porsche’s latest sweet temptations for the automotive obsessed come in the form of the 2016 Porsche 911 R and 2017 718 Boxster. The 911 R (the R is for “racing”) may be more appealing to an older generation, one that prefers a naturally aspirated engine and the ability to operate a clutch pedal in conjunction with a nice 6-speed manual gearbox. Lighter than the GT3 and 911 Turbo, the 911 R should prove a better performer, thanks in no small part to its 500-horsepower flat-6 4.0-liter engine. Acceleration to 60 miles per hour takes a mere 3.7 seconds, with a top speed of 200 mph.
On a side note, the 911 R’s retro red-striped hood and roof may be somewhat off-putting to Porsche purists, but with only 991 production units being sold worldwide, we’re pretty sure Porsche will have no problem selling every last one.
For those with a little less spending change, there’s the 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster and 718 Boxster S. With enhanced styling and a 300-hp midmounted 2.0-liter flat-4 engine (it’s 350 hp with a 2.5-liter in the 718 Boxster S), neck-snapping acceleration is in no short supply.
Also on display is a new entry-level 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder 2017 Porsche Macan SUV. Priced just under $50,000, this new Macan is better positioned to challenge luxury SUVs such as the Audi Q5, Lexus RX and Mercedes-Benz GLC.
$185,000 (2016 Porsche 911 R); $56,000-$65,500 (2017 Porsche 718 Boxster/Boxster S); $47,500 (2017 Porsche Macan)
When Can You Get Them?
Add Them to Your Shopping List Because…
With less than 1,000 units produced worldwide, the 911 R is more of a collectible than a daily driver. The 2017 718 Boxster, on the other hand, is a formidable performance machine made all the more impressive by its sub-$60,000 price tag. As for the Macan, the new 252-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder engine provides plenty of performance while allowing the smallest Porsche SUV to offer a more appetizing price tag.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 — The Corvette delivers all the power and performance of the 911 R at nearly half the price.
2017 Audi R8 — The R8 also costs less than the Porsche 911 R and is more easily attained. Its optional V10 engine pumps out 200 more hp, too.
2016 Audi TT RS — The turbocharged RS offers up more power than the 718 Boxster, plus the added grip of standard all-wheel drive.
2016 Nissan 370Z Roadster — For around $40,000, the 332-hp 370Z Roadster returns tremendous performance ability. It’s not quite as agile and refined as the 718 Boxster, but it’s pretty darn close.
Used Dodge Viper — The Viper’s V10 engine pumps out more than 600 hp, and its prowess on the track is undeniable. In terms of pricing and performance, it slots perfectly in between the 911 R and 718 Boxster.