And so, here is the all new third generation Boxster (codenamed 981), which is lighter, lower, more fuel efficient and faster than the version it replaces, known as the 987 Generation 2. Those Germans, they do love playing the numbers game!
Porsche kindly invited us to come and take a look and here is our summary of the new model.
The new Boxster is available to order now and prices start at £37,000 for the base 2.7 litre engine. Step up to the 3.4 litre ‘S’ model and the price rises to just over £45,000. But, this being Porsche, you can forget about those opening prices; they are irrelevant as you start ticking those expensive option boxes. Budget for an additional £2,000 – £3,000 on top of each of those prices for a car that you would actually want to own.
Performance? 0-60 miles per hour in near as makes no difference 6 seconds dead for the 2.7 model and 5 seconds for the S. Top speed is 165 and 175 miles per hour, respectively.
To our mind, this is the best looking Boxster produced but it is much better than that too; it is now the best looking roadster on sale. As the famous advert tagline says, it looks “reassuringly expensive” with definite hints of Porsche’s supercar, the Carrera GT, when viewed from the side.
The doors are now no longer shared with Porsche’s flagship sports car the 911which gave the designers greater flexibility in creating a model that looks discernibly different to the 911. Yes, you can see the family breeding, which is no bad thing, but the Boxster is now a proper model in its own right.
Park this on the street and we bet you serious amounts of money that you will not be able to resist an over the shoulder glance as you walk away. Hot stuff indeed.
There was a time up until recently where the interiors of a Porsche didn’t quite match with the Brand’s status or price tag. No longer. Following the example of the new 911, the Boxster finally gets an interior worthy of its price and looks.
Sit in one and you probably won’t want to get out. This is very smart indeed, from the new raised ‘ski-slope’ centre console to the gorgeous stitching on the lashings of leather. To compliment the look further still, there’s also ample use of aluminium inserts and, being German, everything you touch feels like it will last a lifetime. The Germans have always been very good at making a car feel like it has that indestructible solid feeling and this is no exception. Sports cars can sometimes feel a little flimsy (previous generation BMW Z4) but the Boxster feels like it has actually been carved from rock itself.
So, should you decide that this is the car for you, drop the top and show off this luscious interior to the world.
How do you go about making the best better? You start by making it lighter, of course, by substantial use of the current in vogue metal, aluminium. The net effect is that this latest generation is 35 kg lighter than the version it replaces.
All engines now feature Direct Fuel Injection too and, in simple terms, this means that the optimum amount of fuel is delievered to the engine’s cylinders giving better power and economy.
Electromechanical steering is also now featured too. This is a steering system that uses electric power to artificially recreate the steering feel of the car. You do lose some of that intricate feel through your fingertips in doing so, but it does mean the car is lighter and more fuel efficient. Less fuel stops means the fun can continue for longer!
You can choose from either a six speed manual gearbox or the 7 speed semi-automatic gearbox which Porsche, in their wisdom, call “Porsche Doppelkupplung”. Try saying that after a few bottles of Becks.
We have it on good authority from Felix Bräutigam, Porsche’s Europen Regional Director, that if you are a driving enthusiast, specify your Boxster with the manual gearbox, the 20 inch wheels and, naturally, the sports exhaust system. All show and all go!
Not only has technology been incorporated in making the Boxster drive better, it has also been used to make the car easier to live with and, dare we say, easier on the wallet.
All models feature auto start/stop which means the car’s engine will turn itself off at traffic lights and then re-start when you are ready to, there is a system that recuperates electric power and a coasting function (when combined with the semi-automatic gearbox) which means the engine effectively disengages from the transmission when you want to gently slow down, preventing deceleration from engine braking. This system therefore makes use of the car’s own coasting momentum. Combined, all of these technological enhancements add up to a 16% improvement in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Amazingly, given the performance on offer, both models will also return over 30 miles per gallon on a long run. Sports car don’t always need to be binge drinkers.
Naturally, this is relative, but the Boxster is amazingly practical for a sports car and this is thanks to its clever packaging. Given that the car features a mid-mounted engine, there is room for not only a rear boot but a front one as well. So here is a car with two boots with the front boot being particularly generous. It really is a car that you can use every day and if you need to visit the local DIY store, you can always drop the roof for unlimited height restrictions!
Mark our words, this will be the best Boxster yet and we will undertake a thorough test review of one shortly, so keep an eye out for our write up on:
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© Nick Johnson Car Journalist & Vehicle Consultant